Friday, February 5, 2016

...grumble...grumble...grumble...!


  an attitude of gratitude, despite the pain, will bring you miracles you may have only dreamed of!

Oh to get through a day without the grumblers, the complainers who weigh us down with their petty "stuffs!" It seems they can never be happy unless they are miserable and also taking hostages, as it were, of every one else within earshot! We all know them...we see them at work, in the grocery store and maybe (sadly) at home.

Have you ever noticed how your own blood pressure seems to rise....and by the end of the encounter, you too, feel as if you are carrying a burden much larger than it should be?

Life is too short for grumbles! Go back in Bible time...no matter how God intervened for the better, the Israelites grumbled! They had been saved from a forever existence of slavery, yet here they were, in the desert, GRUMBLING! It could have been worse, yet they complained. Nothing could alleviate their thoughts and words of despair. I am thinking that Moses probably wished  the Red Sea had swallowed them up!

Now...look at it from this angle: You go through a struggle. It could be any struggle: illness/divorce/job loss/health complications. God brings you through it, but like childbirth, sometimes it takes longer than others and there IS pain associated with it. Yet all YOU can see is the dark side of it. "It's taking too long, Lord!" you grumble. "Why do I have to go through this all the time, Lord, ALL the time!" you complain. "I don't see ANYONE else here going through what I have to deal with!" you spout off. And on it goes.

What seems to you like mega years, to God...it is the blink of an eye. But I will tell you this, so LISTEN carefully! You GROW in your struggles, but when you complain/grouse/moan and despair, it takes EVEN LONGER to see the fruits of that struggle! Just as with the Israelites who were "condemned" to wander for forty years....when you also "piss and moan" about how God is graciously leading you, do you not think that maybe He is also waylaying you, hoping that, in time, you will see His goodness in the midst of strife? That you will come to APPRECIATE the struggle for what it is? Instead of sitting in a slump, go meet God half way, doing all that YOU can do to make your struggle commendable. I understand that you may be dealing with life happenings that you did not sign up for; maybe someone you married was not that knight in shining armor...he is drinking and it's getting worse day by day. That baby you were in awe over...he has muscular dystrophy and is now in need of a lifetime of care. That job that seemed so awesome is now a drudgery. That house is now a money pit. That friend has just betrayed you. Your own body has turned against you and you are dealing with an illness for the rest of your life. And on it goes.

Do you despair...or do you see the gratitude amongst the pain? "Yes, Lord...I did NOT expect this. I cannot deal with this...not alone, anyway, but with You, I can do this. Maybe not tomorrow, for we don't have tomorrow, but You and I together...today...we've got this!"

Look to other examples of struggles to see what came from them: a caterpillar's struggle from a cocoon to become a butterfly...a chick's struggle from an egg, a lump of coal's burning and pressure to become a diamond!

 So...the more you moan and groan..the longer it may take. To break free a flower's bloom in your haste to see it's beauty instead, causes it to wither and die. To wait for the bloom is to be rewarded with gracious beauty!

In all things...in ALL things, give thanks to God. Give thanks for the struggles...give praise that you have not been forgotten! Yes, though you may be in the valley of the shadow of death...FEAR NO EVIL...I repeat, fear not! for Thy rod and Thy staff will comfort you...but you must find that comfort...rejoice in the fact that you are being comforted! You may not always feel it, you may not always SEE it, not right away, but when the right time appears, you will look back and see how it all came together for your good!