When We Com­plain, Who Are We Com­plain­ing Against?

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - CHURCH - Jodi Hen­dricks JODI HEN­DRICKS IS A LONG­TIME MEM­BER OF FARM­ING­TON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. SHE TEACHES ADULT AND YOUTH BI­BLE CLASSES. THE OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR.

God heard the cry of the Is­raelites in Egypt as they suffered under their slave driv­ers. He was con­cerned about their suf­fer­ing so He sent Moses with a plan of res­cue. Moses along with God’s many mirac­u­lous signs led the Is­raelites out of Egypt and across the dry bot­tom of the Red Sea. Af­ter the res­cue and first hand ac­count of the power of God, how did the Is­raelites re­spond? They weren’t pleased with the way God was res­cu­ing them! They quickly for­got about the op­pres­sion of the Egyp­tians when they were in the desert, won­der­ing where their next meal was to come from. They had re­joiced at their res­cue, only to quickly start com­plain­ing once they were on their way and the go­ing was get­ting a lit­tle tough. Moses called them out and re­minded them that they weren’t com­plain­ing against him and Aaron, but against the Lord! (Read chap­ters 3-16 of Ex­o­dus for more de­tails.)

It is al­ways so easy to see how the Is­raelites wa­vered in their faith, failed to trust God when the go­ing got tough, yet how of­ten do we do the same?

How of­ten do we ask the Lord to help us only to com­plain about the way He has cho­sen to help us? Many com­plain about their jobs, for­get­ting it is God who pro­vides us with our jobs. Some com­plain about their fi­nances, not re­mem­ber­ing that just as God pro­vided the Is­raelites with manna daily, so He will meet our needs daily. Many com­plain about co-work­ers, neigh­bors, even friends, for­get­ting that we are com­manded to love our neigh­bors as our­selves. Those peo­ple who we might be com­plain­ing about are the same peo­ple God may have sent to help or res­cue us.

When we com­plain be­cause we don’t like how things are go­ing or we com­plain when things are not go­ing as we had planned, who are we re­ally grum­bling against? When we com­plain about how we are be­ing res­cued from our prob­lems, who are we re­ally com­plain­ing about? We are grum­bling and com­plain­ing about our Provider, Sus­tainer, Res­cuer, the Lord!

When we com­plain to oth­ers con­stantly we are dis­play­ing our lack of faith in­stead of shar­ing our faith with them. There are times when we are jus­ti­fied in our grum­bling, but it is the way we grum­ble that mat­ters. When you are strug­gling to make ends meet or weighed down with the stress of life, do you take your con­cerns and wor­ries di­rectly to God, hav­ing faith that He will help? Or do you re­sem­ble the Is­raelites, com­plain­ing to any­one who will lis­ten, want­ing to go back to the old ways of life, no mat­ter how bad. Do you share your faith through trust­ing in God’s per­fect plan or do you show your lack of faith by com­plain­ing about His plan?

It is easy to get caught up com­plain­ing, it is some­thing many of us ex­cel at. The next time you start to com­plain to some­one about your cir­cum­stances, think about whom you are re­ally grum­bling against. In­stead of com­plain­ing, get on your knees and share your woes with the One who can do all things. Thank Him for all He has done and will do! Shine your light of faith in­stead of a cloud of un­be­lief.

Ex­o­dus 16:8 NIV: Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when He gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morn­ing, be­cause He has heard your grum­bling against Him. Who are we? You are not grum­bling against us, but against the Lord.”

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