Numbers 21:4-9: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?”
Most of us have a tendency to complain. Sometimes it becomes verbalized, but most times it remains deep in our hearts and thoughts. It doesn’t help that our society is one where complaining has become the norm and a national past-time of sorts.
I remember that when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness some 27 years ago, I complained to God saying, “Why did it have to be me?” More recently at work, when a serious incident happened, I thought, “How could this happen when we were doing good and in His name?”
When we complain, what are we really saying? We are actually saying that God is unfair, that we are owed better, and that our expectations have not been met. It shows up two things, that we have forgotten His faithfulness and goodness to us, and have become ungrateful; and that we have pride and feel entitled to more.
Instead of complaining, I am slowly learning to remember that God is ever faithful and that all His promises are true (Revelations 19:11).
I am also learning from this passage of Scripture that whilst God may not remove the trial and testing, He will certainly give the grace and strength to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We need to trust Him, having an attitude of worship and prayer, born out of a grateful heart for all His “benefits to us” (Psalm 103:2). Of course, this is so much easier said than done, especially in the heat of the furnace. But as Rick Warren says, “If you’re not worshipping, you’re worrying; if you’re not praying, you’re panicking!”.
May the Lord work to remove the complaining heart in us all.
By David Loh (YCKC Bulletin 31 March 2019)