My continuous, never-ending complaining about the exact same set of circumstances was what drove my friend (I’ll refer to her as “Emma”) to the point that she had to sit me down and TELL me, that this was a friendship she was willing, but sad, to lose. She would give me ideas and suggestions, and even encouragement on how my circumstances could change, and my life become a healthier one, (as well as that of our friendship), but the truth was, I had made “complaining” a habit………. If she wouldn’t listen, I’d just find someone who would.
That’s no way to live, let me tell you!
That was probably about 15 years ago. Fast forward to now, I have come to cherish the occasional, yearly lunches with Emma, and her friendship and brutal honesty with me is what I appreciate most about her. I’m so thankful for her.
A life of grumbling is an EASY trap for many, and it certainly is for me. STILL ! In fact, it is the exact SAME set of circumstances now, 15 years later, that finds its way into my head and can easily and rapidly set me on a exponentially increasing speed of descent into the PIT of grumbling and complaining today! And it always, always involves the same relationship…. Always.
Ah, but I’m well aware of it……. And there is some wisdom I’ve gained along the way, the first of which is that I have to CONTINUOUSLY, very often, daily – Surrender it to God.
An ex-nun once taught me that I must learn to remember the presence of a sovereign God, who is always near, always controlling things for my good. When I feel like fretting and complaining, I must remember to rest and worship, and remember that that annoying and difficult relationship is not there by accident, but is an instrument in the hands of a God, who will use it to continue the work He has begun in me. He is sovereign over that relationship, and it is a means by which He continues His work. It is a tool of sanctification – not meant to be a meaningless or irritating obstacle to a happy life. He uses it because He is COMMITTED to me, and committed to bringing me to maturity to “attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ!”
I am still learning (and oftentimes failing), to remember not to curse my situation and blame those around me, but to embrace the sovereignty of God over that relationship that HE has placed in my life. I know that He will use it to make me a light that shines in the dark so that people will look and give HIM the glory.
And you know what? By God’s grace and mercy, I’m getting better at it. And when I fail (and fall), it just lands me back where it ought – at the foot of the Cross.
Today, I’m thankful for the wise women who’ve walked this walk longer than I have, who are willing to share with me what they have learned. He places THOSE people in our lives, as well. And today, Edna, I’m thankful He placed YOU in mine! Here’s to many more cups of coffee!