Tag Archive | content

Can I have some Cheese with that Whine?

I hate whining. Seriously. My kids do it often and I find it annoying. As I sit and type, my son is next to me doing homework and complaining loudly all the while about everything under the sun.  The room we are in at school. Relational issues with friends. The work itself. The size of the desk he is sitting at. The light being on. Noise in the hallway.

We do this about the weather. We complain winter is too long, spring is too wet, summer is too hot (and full of mosquitoes) and that fall, well maybe we don’t complain much about fall except that it’s a prelude to winter.  It’s like we cannot just be content in the moment God has given us. Right here. Right now.

I know that deep down inside, I whine just as much as my eleven year old son. I want to blame all my problems on others just like he does. I complain and moan and groan to God about, well, pretty much everything. My weight, my wardrobe, money, marriage, kids, bed, messy desk, dishes, laundry, the impossible to keep clean toilet. . . I just may not speak the words out loud. But they are there.

Then God starts to change my circumstances. Not everything, but I can subtly see Him working. I asked for Him to show me that He was at work. I knew He was (He always is, even when I cannot see Him) and now, well, I don’t have a good excuse to whine so much. It’s a bit

humbling.

It kind of takes the wind out of my self-righteous sails so to speak.

We sometimes ask our kids if they want some cheese with their whine. (they don’t get the joke).

I don’t want to have a complaining spirit. I don’t want to be someone who is looking for the negative and basking in the glory of victimhood of events beyond my control. That sounds so

ugly.

I’m just vain enough to not want to be ugly before God. In reality, my whining is simply a cover for my anxiety and fear. This is why I so desperately need to be spending time daily meditating on truths from God’s Word. Then I need to reorient my thinking to who GOD says He is, regardless of my circumstances and rejoice in that, hold tight to Him and focus my thoughts on better things.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Php 4:8-9 ESV)

How about you? Do you have a list of complaints, (i.e. prayer requests) that you give to God but continue  to hold on to as a mantle of all that is wrong in your world? How do you fight against the urge to complain?

I’m a Wimp

I finished reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book on “Gratitude” and it has me thinking: I’m such a whiner.

I’ve asked people if I come across as a complainer and many will say “No.” But I do know that in my heart of hearts that I am.  Before God, I whine and whimper and buck against minor inconveniences of life.

My head aches. Oh, poor baby!  My neck is sore.  Let me play a little violin dirge for you! I could go on and on with complaints. I’m sooooo tired.  Really? Like you’re the only one to struggle with that?   Physical. Relational. Even spiritual.  When is God going to do a miracle for you? Ever?  Yeah, I’m pretty pathetic. I’m a wimp.

It’s hard to be cheerful about difficult circumstances that never change. A new friend today in Bible Study found out that we have mold in our home and that it makes me sick if I vacuum.  This is not a complaint. It’s simply a fact that I’ve lived with for 8 years. She said, “Why don’t you move?”  Well. . . husband ain’t willing and there are many obstacles! I’ve been waiting for a move for – oh, let’s say, since the day we moved in 8 years ago?!  Trust me – I want to move!   Will a new home correct the other problems in my family and life?  No. It will distract me for awhile – but in long run, the problems would just move with me (except for maybe the mold).

Paul says that he had learned the secret to being content in whatever circumstances he was in – whether rich or poor.  And it’s true, I have realized, that when I often get what I want, I’m not satisfied but looking for the next thing that I’m miserable without.  That’s a pretty serious flaw.

Here’s what Paul writes:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. (Php 4:11-14)

How do we endure? By finding our strength in Christ. Sometimes I think that without the pain and struggles in my life, I would have wandered far from God, and failed to grow in my relationship and dependence on Him. Whatever He asks me to endure today, He will give me the strength to face. I just need to trust in Him.  Sometimes that can be hard to do.  Just being honest here!

I love the last line of Paul’s here: “. . . it was kind of you to share in my trouble.”  I have to admit, without people to share the burdens of life – I don’t know if I could keep on, keeping on, as well as I have.

Again – we are back to gratitude. Gratitude to God for His strength and support through the minor and major challenges of life, and gratitude for the people He has brought in my life to walk through those darker times with me and rejoice in the blessings.  It’s okay to be a wimp when I turn to God in those times instead of staying there moaning and groaning. We are never meant to carry our troubles alone! In that essence, being a wimp is a really good thing.