Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Complain - Count!

“And the people grumbled and deplored their hardships, which was evil in the ears of the Lord . . . [They] raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

~ Numbers 11:1a and 14:1-3b (NIV)

I must confess there has been more than one occasion when I have grumbled and complained to God (and Keen and others) about our lot in life. Like the Israelites of old who complained to Moses in the desert after God delivered them from their captivity in Egypt, I have often chosen to focus on what was wrong with my circumstances, rather than counting my blessings and focusing on all that I had to be thankful for.

Have you ever noticed that complaining and moaning is sort of like running in place? It takes a lot of energy, but it doesn’t really get you anywhere. Complaining, like worry, doesn’t change your situation one iota and only brings you down.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

~ Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

Time wasted complaining would be better spent counting your blessings, committing your problems into God’s hands, and moving forward.

“Jesus can turn water into wine, but He can't turn your whining into anything.”

~ Mark Steele

The following inspirational poem was sent to me in an email:

The World is Mine

Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman.
And wished I were as beautiful.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, she passed with a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I am blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child I knew.
He stood and watched the others play,
But he did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join them dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
I forgot, he could not hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I want to know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed – indeed, the world is mine!

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

~ I Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)