“Do all things without grumbling…” – Philippians 2:14
Do you ever find yourself grumbling?
“Does he mean like those tummy grumbles after a long evening of super nachos?”
Not quite, but there is help here for you too!
Because if you are anything like me after my long evening of super nachos, then you will find that your grumbling is at a heart-level, not just a stomach-level.
Here’s what I mean by grumbling: frustratedly complaining about, growling and scowling at, and just generally unhappy with any circumstance that you are currently dealing with…
Any of these descriptors fit you?
Because they most definitely fit me in almost every situation.
I complain about my hair (just ask my wife); I don’t like it too curly or poofy. I am frustrated by my food being too hot; temperature-wise AND spice-wise. I complain about my stomach being too much of a doughy shape (you know exactly what shape I mean). I grumble about I-635 traffic; don’t they know I am trying to be somewhere?
I am a particularly picky fellow with an attitude of ungratefulness toward anything and anyone I deem unfair or out of my best interests or wants and I haven’t even mentioned what I complain most about.
I am satisfied with the weather conditions about 3% of the time and that is a very generous estimate for me to give myself.
It’s either too windy, too stale, too rainy, too dry, too much of a pollen-y day, too much of temperatures meant for penguins, too much of “I will literally melt if I walk outside”, too much of hurts-my-face sleet, and of course too much of that tornado that is keeping me from my Chipotle burrito.
And that’s all on a Thursday afternoon here in North Texas, am I right?
What all of this means about me, though, is that I am a grumbling, complaining, he-man weather-hater.
“Stupid weather. If only you were slightly-sunny, 75, and perfect every day of the year, then I wouldn’t have to complain anymore! Pull yourself together up there, weather!”
I think these thoughts on an every day basis sometimes. I legitimately want the weather to cater to my needs.
Isn’t that selfish of me?
But, by God’s grace, I read two quotes from men I very much admire that have completely shifted my thinking about the weather:
“Be full of holy gratitude… Get into the state of that poor man who was so greatly blessed to pious Talour. He wished the man a good day. The man replied, “Sir, I never had a bad day.” “Oh, but I wish you good weather.” Said he, “Sir, it is always good weather. If it rains or if it shines, it is such weather as God pleases and what pleases God pleases me.”
“Therefore, when we complain about the weather, we are murmuring against God.”
You mean to tell me that 120 degree, spontaneous-combustion-type days and -120 degree, Queen-Elsa-just-rolled-through-type days are both pleasing to you, God?
Wait a minute, though, just because some preacher named Charles and some author named A.W. wrote something such as this, doesn’t make it true, right? What about the Word of God?
“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” – Psalm 115:3
(You can see, now, how my thinking was shifted.)
It is just like us to desire for everything to be the way that we believe to be most pleasing to us and when it’s not, we grumble; we complain.
What we do not want to admit, though, is that both our grumbling and complaining shows our lack of satisfaction in the sovereignty of God.
If God does all that he pleases, then shouldn’t every single circumstance we find ourselves to be in be more than pleasing to us?
I’m overwhelmingly embarrassed when I consider all of the grumbling I have done about my hair, or the traffic, or my food, and of course, the weather. I lack, so much, a holy gratitude in God’s sovereignty.
But thankfully, Jesus died for such a lack as this.
Jesus lived a perfect and grumble-less life, enduring torture and death without complaining once, and subjecting himself to the will of the Father, he took all of the complaining and grumbling sinfulness of the entirety of creation on himself because he knew that whatever the Father had for him was from the Father and thus pleasing to the Father.
Jesus did all for us without being unhappy with the sovereignty of God, and we do none for him but complain about the very same.
Glory to the Son who saves us from our ungrateful hearts and makes us one with Whom we are most indebted to, despite our lack of love for God’s sovereignty and, really, God himself.
What about you? What are things you find yourself grumbling about? Do you find that you have a lack of trusting in the Sovereignty of God the Father?
May He change our grumbling to praise, our complaining to thankfulness, and our unhappy growling to holy gratitude.
May it please God to make what pleases God please us.
– Jacob Simmons, Family Pastor
*Quotes by Charles Spurgeon and A.W. Pink*