Did you know...
that there are actually websites
which collect lists of things that are annoying?
You know, like our pet peeves.
The things other people do
that drive us crazy, like..
open mouth chewing,
having a small personal space,
talking during a movie,
heavy mouth breathing,
blocking a hall or aisle to talk.
They are such small behaviors really,
but they can be that one last straw
that completely sets us off...
even on the rant to ourselves
once we make it to the solitude
of our car.
Have you ever done that?
Complain all to yourself
alone in your car,
And then sometimes we can turn it
over to God, kind of like
it was a prayer...
please help them, Lord!
Ha! Like it really changed our heart!
Sorry, speaking for myself!
And today, I read this,
the Psalm of Asaph.
He was much more serious.
But look how he ends this plea.
I cried out to God with my voice...
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out
in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
and my spirit was overwhelmed.
Psalm 77:1-3 NKJV
Really the opposite of my pet peeve rant.
Where I begin complaining
and end in prayer,
here Asaph begins in prayer
and ends in complaint.
his spirit is STILL overwhelmed.
And this godly man,
this seer and prophet,
this musician of the temple
surely knows the character of God.
Our God is one who despises complaint.
That was clear when He dealt with the Israelites
in the wilderness.
For that is the very reason they remained
for forty years... an entire generation dying there.
Do we too desire to remain
in our wilderness of complaint?
Overwhelmed in our trouble?
Let us look forward in this Psalm
to see Asaph's choice.
And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.
So the question I ask...
Did Asaph wait
until his problems were solved
before he began to speak positive words?
Did his complaining stop
only after his problems did?
This is my anguish...
sounds nothing like
his problems were solved.
In fact, he was in the middle of them
But still, he speaks well of God...
the works of God,
the wonders of God,
the deeds of God,
the character of God.
And he talks about it...
that means not only will he hear it,
but others will as well.
And if we will begin
by using our words
to speak the praises of God first,
our heart and spirit have nothing
better to do,
than to follow suit.
God will certainly honor us
because we have put Him first!
Because we will declare His strength
and redeeming power...
He will bring it to our soul.
Let us not be complainers...
looking always at human pet peeves.
But rather be praisers...
looking always for God's goodness
and bringing it into our lives
along with shining His glory
for others to see.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to look for Your goodness, Your glory, rather than human frustration,
to use my words for praise rather than complaint, even in my anguish.
Lord, I know You are weary
of my complaining.
Help me to hold my tongue.
Be patient with me.
Remind me the moment it begins.
And give me words of praise
to replace the rant I used to speak.
I long to honor You
rather than remain
in my anguish.
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