God: The Complaint Department

          We usually don’t think of complaining as a positive thing. When little kids complain, we’re quick to tell them, “Quit your whining.” When adults complain, we tend to squint, roll our eyes, and let out a heavy sign of disdain. Inside we’re probably thinking, Why don’t they just get over it and move on?

          While it may be true that no human within earshot is interested in hearing our complaints, God doesn’t seem to have a problem with them. In Psalm 142:1-3, the writer tells us how he handled his complaints. “I cry out to the LORD with my voice; with my voice to the LORD I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path…” (NKJ).

           The Hebrew word for “complaint” – siyach (see’-akh) – simply means “a contemplation, an utterance: communication, complaint, meditation, prayer, or talk.” And the word translated “trouble” is “tsarah” (tsaw-raw’) which means “tightness, adversary, adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, and tribulation.” Since God does not rebuke the Psalmist for his words, we can understand that it really is okay to complain to Him about our problems. As the passage so aptly says, God is the One who is already aware of what I’m going through. (Notice that the word “knew” is in the past tense.)

          So go right ahead: kick and scream your complaints to God, the complaint department. Your overwhelmed spirit doesn’t surprise or overwhelm Him. Once you get it all out, you’ll have clearer vision and you’ll be better able to focus on the One who not only knew the path you had been walking, but also knows the path of your escape. First Corinthians10:13 promises, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (The Message).

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©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

~ by sanewriter on December 26, 2011.

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