Grumble, Rumble, Roar


There are times when it seems God has taken a vacation. As far as you know, you're doing what He wants you to do and then--WHAM! You get fired. Your house burns down. Your child is diagnosed with cancer. All in the same week.

Friends appear on the sidelines, feigning concern, but you know that they are secretly wondering what you did wrong. And secretly praying it doesn't happen to them.

What is your usual response? I know what mine used to be.

I got angry at God. Ever been there?

Of course, we don't call it that. We cloak our outrage in more acceptable terms, even joking lightly to soften the seriousness of our accusations: "I have a few questions for God one of these days!" "Is He paying attention?"

I never realized during my years of unholy outrage that my attitude was sin. But when I study the Old Testament's account of the Israelites heading for the Promised Land, one theme leaps from the pages: they "murmured against the Lord." (Num. 14:29; Ps. 106:25)

God pays attention when we murmur against him and He does not like it. But he also notices those who refuse to give in to whining. One of my favorite passages is in Malachi 3:16. God was angry at his people who were once again grumbling about him, but he also called attention to the few who did not. These people "spoke to one another about the Lord", and the Lord heard and had a special book of remembrance written with their names in it. "They will be mine," he said. "I will spare them when I bring judgment on the others."

The Chuck Norris of hard-times is Job who "did not sin by charging the Lord with wrongdoing." If anyone had a right to, it was Job, which proves that no one has a right to.

Have you considered that your grumbling about your situation is sin against the God who chose it for you? If you did nothing to put yourself in this pickle, then it was chosen for you by a loving God for His reasons. And you have no right to grumble. He notices.

If guilt is pricking your conscience as you read this, do what I did. Start now by repenting of your murmuring in the past. Then purpose never to do it again. The proper response is what Job did: he fell down and worshiped. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

When you do that, you can be sure God is writing your name in his special book of remembrance. I would much rather he remember me that way than as one who grumbled against him. Wouldn't you?

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