There’s an awkward silence that arises between me and heaven when I realize I’ve crippled my journey of faith through one subtle, sneaky habit …

Grumbling … complaining.

I don’t even know I do it half the time, but there it is, sneaking in again and again.

Pressures at home, pressures at school, worry over my mom’s health, worries about my kids (grown that they may be), preparing to move … in they sneak … little complaints … ungrateful words … worries about things I don’t have any control over.

Numbers Chapter 11 (Old Testament) is not a good place to read while in a season of worry and complaints.  The book has been part of a devotional I’ve been going through with the kids at school.

The Israelites had lived truly hellish lives back in Egypt … cruel and unfair. God had delivered them though … in a BIG, BIG way.  They had to have felt special … loved … ready for a deserved, easy life.

Yet, it didn’t work like that.  Loved, yes, but God had to forge them into soldiers.  He had to awaken them to the fact there is a battle going on in this earth. There’s milk and honey, yes … but not without a fight … not without battles scattered throughout the entirety of a lifespan … there’s a spiritual war on.

God’s people couldn’t figure that out.  When the honeymoon of newfound freedom wore off, they wore out … and they got hungry.

And … they FORGOT.

Complaining versus God's faithfulness

They forgot how miserable they used to be back in Egypt.  It suddenly seemed to be better to have the onions, melons, and garlic of their past than to spoon the same ol’, boring manna into their mouths every morning. (Which, by the way, God had MIRACULOUSLY and FAITHFULLY provided for 40 years.)

I bet they didn’t even get to eat much of that food they were now craving, but had likely watched their cruel masters gobble it in front of them. But they didn’t care … they just wanted more than what they had right now, no matter how miraculous their current provisions were.

So they whined.  If God loved them, He should be doing more for them.

God had slipped from Deliverer, Savior, Heavenly Father, Guide, and Shepherd to their genie in a lamp.

And I am absolutely just like them.

I am a complainer who forgets what God has done.  I forget that He is near … never leaving … never forsaking. I forget that He promised to finished the good work that He has started … AND that He IS coming back.

I forget, so I complain. Whine a whole lot.

Whine About It

However …

Complaining is super dangerous because it distorts who God has been.  Didn’t He save me?  Didn’t He come through during my crazy messes many times over?

Complaining distorts my understanding of who He is at present. Why do I so easily slip into thinking that this up-in-my-face, ugly challenge is now, somehow, finally bigger than God? He doesn’t change … He’s waiting for me to trust Him MORE because there is MORE of Him to embrace.

And …  grumbling distorts my understanding of who He will be for all of eternity. Do I really want to look fully into His face on that final, glorious day and say, “Uh … I just didn’t think I could trust You there towards the end.  It just go too hard.”  I can imagine His response, “Why not? Why would I suddenly forsake you?  Has that ever been my nature?”

These thoughts have been ringing in my ears for days now …

Grumbling says that God isn’t enough in my life; yet I pretend like I’m all about God being enough.

Complaining messes with the truth.

It cripples my faith.

It moves me away from the truest cravings of my heart … the LOVE and PRESENCE of Jesus.

Oh!

To have a renewed heart …

A Grateful Heart …

For perfect are you, Lord.

Mindful … powerful … unerring … purposeful … pure.

There is nothing that I face or lack worth worrying over if I can’t have Christ.

Distorting God

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