Tag Archive | gratitude

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.

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Resentment

I love it when Scripture, speakers and other readings all combine with what the Holy Spirit is telling me – that clinging to resentment is the greatest evil I face right now in my life. And I have found it to be true, that when I can set that aside, and live in the gratitude and love of my King, that even when I am faced with inexplicable “blues”, I can have far greater peace.

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psa 107:1 ESV)  That phrasing occurs 16 times in Scripture.  Thanks – because of our Lord’s steadfast love.  Gratitude. For. Unchanging. Immovable.  LOVE.

I am not always there.  So often I want to sit and stew in my anger and resentment at the injustice of my circumstances.  Focus on all the things I want and don’t have (and may never have), instead of focusing on God’s work in and through me, in spite of and maybe even because of my challenges. Because He loves me enough to not let me stay where I am.

Do I really want to resent His perfect work in my life?  As an all consuming fire He often uses pain and suffering to burn off the chaff so I can move forward in His grace and the freedom only He offers. He does this because I am His child and He loves me. So I need to choose between stewing in my resentment or dwelling in gratitude and His arms of love.

My situation and challenges may be unchanged.  But with God’s help – I will be changed.  And for that- I am grateful.

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb 12:28-29 ESV)