So you are at the proverbial fence looking at the other side? Trust me. It's not greener. Case in point. The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt. God miraculously delivers them to "the other side", the milk & honey "other side" Cue the music! Dancing, worshipping but then, three short days later...
No water. GRUMBLING ensues. Nothing happens. "We want to go back to Egypt!"
Moses prays to God. God provides sweet water.
More dancing, more worshipping. But then, We're hungry. GRUMBLING ensues. Nothing happens. "We want to go back to Egypt!"
Moses prays to God. God provides manna.
Continue dancing, and worshipping...but then....
Get the picture? God rescued the Israelites through a series of miracles- but when the going got tough, the Israelites always wanted to return to “greener” Egypt. (Yet, when they were in greener Egypt, the milk & honey other side was greener.....)
When your going gets tough, do you complain and long for the "good ol’ days" of Egypt?
When you are excited about the promise and hope of your future, do you start grumbling about your present situation?
When things don't look like you think they should, are you mired in discontentment and blinded by current circumstances?
Who are you complaining & grumbling to? I hope you grumble up, not out.
It does us no good to grumble to anyone but God. He is the only one that can change our situations and circumstances. Sure, we all need to vent - but if you are experiencing a pattern of consistent discontentment- then you need some serious God grumbling time. It’s ok - He’s God, He can handle you.
Before you grumble to God, let's talk about the proper way to do that. Did you know there is a pattern to follow and that lamenting prayer is a good kind of prayer. God actually gives us the blueprint of grumbling. It's called the Book of Lamentations. Bringing our pain, grief, sorrow, troubles to God is an essential component of our faith and relationship with our Father. Here's how it should look (Taken from Psalm 13)
The address to God
“Take a good look at me, God, my God;"
“Long enough, God— you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough. I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me."
Affirmation of trust in God
“I’m celebrating your rescue."
"I want to look life in the eye, so no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face.”
A vow and/or expression of praise
"I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers."
Did you notice that the complaint is followed by an expression of praise? A complaining spirit is a reflection of our heart towards God and is often caused because we choose to forget all that God has been faithful to us in prior to our present situation. Our heart needs to be made new each day. And our discontent needs to be handled.
Discontentment leads to prayerlesness.
Discontentment leads to double-mindedness.
Discontentment leads to blame.
Discontentment leads to a soul-hunger that destroys joy.
Discontentment leads to anger.
Discontentment leads to depression.
Discontentment leads to self-centeredness.
Discontentment leads to self-pity.
So how do we stay content? 3 ways.
1. Continual focus on the abundant promises and faithfulness of our Father. I have a list of the times that God showed up in amazing ways. It helps me to remember to look at those moments when God's hands were all over my life and to be thankful that while my grass may not be greener - I have a hope that it will be.
2. Praise God for who He is, what He has done and what He promises to do. Every grumble should be followed by a glory. Every protest erased by a praise.
Oh, and the third way? Back away from the fence.