Things do not always go as planned. You might have read my post yesterday about Joe and me celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary. We don’t usually buy each other gifts or do anything special, but this year would be different. This year we had plans. This year we were actually going to do something special. This year, we were going to celebrate our anniversary by going to a tropical destination.
You might have picked up on the word “were” instead of me saying that we “are.” Once again, this year has claimed another trip from me, and I have not been happy about the situation. In fact, I’ve been bummed about it, and I’ve fussed, complained, and even shed a few tears.
There were a lot of factors that contributed to the trip being canceled. Of course, COVID-19 is always on your mind when it comes to traveling, especially when you have to get on a four-hour airplane flight. But, that alone was not enough to make us cancel our trip.
I had many work and blog obligations that were a concern since I wasn’t sure about the wi-fi capabilities of the place we were going to. Then, I had some delays with clothing making it a struggle to get enough photos taken for the amount of time we were going to be gone.
In the end, we decided that the risks were greater than the reward, and we would have more opportunities to travel in the spring. Hopefully, by the time we get ready to take another trip, there will be a vaccine, and I will be better prepared.
You might be wondering what any of this has to do with a Sunday post, and here it is…complaining. I have been complaining for weeks. I’ve been grumbling under my breath, and I’ve been a total jerk to Joe because I’ve been MAD. I “wanted” to go on this trip, and I’ve been planning and dreaming about the trip since March. I’ve canceled trips to Dallas, Texas, two trips to Florida, one to Las Vegas, I haven’t seen my family in Tennessee since Christmas, and I am sick and tired of staying home all of the time.
Yep, that is complaining. This entire week, every time that I opened a devotion, listened to an online sermon, or written down Bible verse in my journal, it was on complaining or arguing.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
This verse was the first one that I read after we decided to cancel our trip. My 7-year-old granddaughter was visiting, and she wanted to know what I was writing. We sat down together and read the verse and then discussed what it meant. You would have thought that I would have put two and two together and realized that this verse was meant for me.
8 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.”
Then, I came across this verse, and the pieces of the puzzle started to take shape. I was guilty of complaining and grumbling, just like the Israelites. The Lord provided for the Israelites, but they constantly complained instead of worshiping how good the Lord had been to them. They forgot all the Lord had done and all of the promises that He had given them. Instead, they grumbled and complained, and that invoked the Lord’s wrath.
I realized that I had to start worshiping the Lord even though I was disappointed. Hurt and disappointment are emotions that we all will experience, but it is “MY” reaction to those emotions that can make the difference.
What if I had chosen to thank the Lord for keeping my family safe and healthy during a time when a pandemic is claiming the lives of so many? What if I had chosen to thank the Lord for giving me a business that is doing well at a time when so many have lost their jobs? What if I had said, “I am sad that I don’t get to go on a dream vacation, but I am thankful that the Lord is watching over me and I worship His Holy name?”
The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years when their journey could have been only a few days. Was it because they grumbled instead of worshiping the Lord? Would their journey have looked different had they chosen to worship the Lord even when eating something tasteless and blah? Had they worshiped the Lord instead of making other idols, would their journey have ended differently?
You might not be complaining about a missed vacation, but are you grumbling about something else instead? “These kids are so messy.” “All I do is clean this house, and it is a messy wreck again.” “My boss is driving me crazy.” “I sure wish that my husband would pick up his dirty clothes.” What if everything you complained about didn’t exist? The kids, the house, the job, or the husband; what if they were all taken away?
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.
Yes, things will always get on our last nerve, and we will find ourselves grumbling and complaining. We are only human, and we will never be perfect. Hopefully, once we catch ourselves complaining, we can turn those complaints into worship and our grumbling into praise. Our Heavenly Father is faithful, merciful, and deserving of so much more!
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!