Psalms 144:14-15 “That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.”
Today, I read one of my most favorite chapters in the Bible – Psalms 139. It is one of those I can run to when my spirit is overwhelmed; when I am out of sorts with God. The depth, the breadth, the width and the height of God’s love is truly immeasurable. His presence is there for me always. Even when I don’t ‘feel’ Him near, I know that by His promise, He is!
Hebrews 13:5 “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
In reading Psalms 144, David is calling upon God to bless Israel. He brings to the forefront of his mind the character of who God is: my strength; my victor in battle; my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield.
David reminds himself just who he is before a holy God:
Psalms 144:3 “LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!”
When his prayer comes to conclusion, he says:
“…that there be no complaining in our streets.”
For many years, I have had to listen to many people state their case in a counseling session. Not everyone is as honest and transparent as I would want them to be or they would feel comfortable sharing. I have heard some shift the blame onto others for the wrong they, themselves have committed.
I have listened to others as they pour out their hearts only to begin to hurl accusations at the end, deflecting the spotlight from their responsibility to their spouse, their boss, their coworkers or even to God.
Even as a parent, I have endured a lengthy explanation only to hear them complain about their siblings. If there is anything that feels like fingernails scraping on a slate chalkboard, it is complaining. It is one thing that quite literally sucks the life and spirit right out of me.
To hear God, through David speak against the people complaining in the streets, I realized, with a bit of clarity, just how damaging it really can be. Usually, when a truth hits me like today, I must look inward first.
Oh, how I have hurt the heart of God with my tantrums; my long prayers complaining and whining about someone or something. This may shock some, but I have yelled at God. I was angry at a certain situation and circumstance in my life that did not turn out at all like I thought it should.
I walked alone with God yelling at Him; “Why didn’t you convict me, stop me; send a ‘Nathan’ to point his finger at me and accuse me?” I won’t go into the depths of my sin, but I was quite incensed at God’s lack on His part.
After my rant was done, I heard Him say:
“Are you done?”
Quite taken aback at the audacity of my own boldness and stupidity, I sheepishly answered;
God came near me that day in a very special way. Tears are flowing even as I write this. How could You be so sweet to me when I’ve just gone on a tirade of selfish complaining? The Holy Spirit brought a verse to my mind:
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
God’s soft answer to my wrath took all the wind out of my sails. My heart was broken with His love I felt for me. He reminded me that He has been in control all along and though I may not have recognized it or acknowledged it, He was working it out for my good; all the while meeting every need I had.
Complaining stems from selfishness and ignorance and a lack of proper perspective.
Selfishness because I am really only thinking how it all affects me.
Ignorance because I either refuse, deny, or being blinded to the facts before me.
Perspective is just how narrow or how wide the blinders I choose to wear.
After all my blustery posturing and angry tirade, I allowed God to show me things I was either too blind to see or unwilling to accept. Usually in those situations, I have learned:
“God is ALWAYS right and I am ALWAYS wrong.”
Should I choose to pound my point home with Him and ask beyond His will for something, I find that at times, He allows it to teach me a lesson, or use the inevitable failure to correct me.
God is so good to us!
You cannot deny that fact. If you choose to debate it, you are blaming God for something He did not do or is allowing into your life to make you more. His promises are always true.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
You and I may complain. We have a free will to do so. But, I have come to learn that what I do not understand is an opportunity for God to reveal truth I may not yet know, or experience something He will use for His glory.
Complaining is not only fruitless, but it is damaging to those who hear it. God has given me a wonderful filter as a minister of His Word to hear and yet help. The hardest is when the complaint is personal and contains truth that pierces. It is then that I must ask God to walk close by to help me process what it is He wants me to do.
Thanks be to God – He is faithful!
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
There is nothing you or I as a child of God cannot bear here on this earth. It may not be all sunshine and rainbows, but Heaven; our home awaits us when we complete this race.