Wednesday, August 03, 2011

No Grumbling?

What would it look like if there were no grumbling? Or What would the world look like if no one complained? Some of us are pretty introspective, and we might be wondering what our lives would look like if we didn’t grumble. Immediately thoughts of peace, light, security, rest, comfort, ease, and patience flash through our minds. Life would be very different if we didn’t complain or whine or grumble.

But then, just as quickly those peaceful thoughts are pushed aside by reality. “What about the unfairness of life?” “I deserve a lot more than I’m getting.” “Who does that guy think he is talking to me like that?” “Doesn’t she know who I am?” “Who does she think he is?” I have a lot to complain about. Real life isn’t fair. Things happen; things that aren’t good. Grumbling is how we fix things while being too timid to actually do anything constructive.

I wonder what does God think about grumbling? I remember a story with a lot of grumbling in Numbers 14. The people were in the desert and were grumbling because there wasn’t any food or water out there. They were about to stone Moses and Aaron because it was all their fault when God interceded for them and sought to kill all the people. Moses interceded on the people’s behalf and God relented and didn’t kill the people…then.

God thinks our grumbling is ultimately a complaint against him and the way he’s telling our story. You know, of course, that when I say, “telling our story,” I mean that as he speaks, we exist and things happen. The things that happen in our lives are the actual story God is telling working itself out in reality. When that guy said what he said about you (the fellow you were grumbling about), the things he said were put into his mouth and then given to you by the story teller. Nothing happens to us that is not given to us, as a gift from our Father in Heaven.

Not only was the reason for our complaint and subsequent grumbling given to us by God, but it was actually given to us as something meant to make us more like Christ, for our good, and to bring glory to God. It was actually a gift, something wonderful, given to you. You may think you’re grumbling to a person, or complaining to yourself, but in reality it is all about God. “You don’t know what you’re doing. Do you have any idea at all who you’re dealing with? I’m not happy with your choices. Who do you think you are? Who died and left you…God?”

I wonder what life would look like if there were no grumbling and complaining.

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