I’ve wandered the house aimlessly, with many things I could do, but I lack the energy or motivation to do them.
I’m whining because I’m stuck. Unable to drive for a time because I can’t wear my contacts. My glasses are three prescriptions old so they’re of no use in navigating the streets.
Of course, I can go for a walk, but with no useful sunglasses, even a baseball cap doesn’t keep the sun from scorching my eyes.
It’s so much easier to complain than to do something useful.
This stuckness is annoying. I had plans for this time, and they didn’t include being limited to my house,
I have options to occupy my time that are useful and necessary. I have work I need to do.
Complaining is easier. And for the moment, satisfying. I’m spoke out loud my displeasure, agreeing with myself that this isn’t what I want. In my mind I sound justified, and my rationale seems appropriate.
Who am I kidding? John doesn’t want to hear how annoyed I am. He’s got his own stuff to be concerned about. My complaints sound petty.
Even to me.
What does one do when they’re stuck, in a place of discomfort that is irritating and affects attitudes?
There was a prophet in the Bible named Jonah who lived around 786 BC. When God asked him to go to the nation of Ninevah to tell them of God’s judgment, he didn’t want to do it. They were his enemies, and he didn’t want them saved. He went in the opposite direction, getting on a boat heading as far from Ninevah as he could.
When God asks us to do something, He doesn’t mess around. He caused a violent storm to happen. The sailors realized pretty quickly that Jonah was the cause of their situation, and when he admitted he was running from God, he suggested the sailors throw him overboard. Not wanting to hurt him, they tried harder to save the boat, only for the storm to increase. They called out to Jonah’s God for forgiveness for what they were about to do, and threw him into the sea.
Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and was inside it for three days and nights before it spit him onto the shore at Ninevah. Unhappily, he took the message of God’s desire for them to repent to Ninevah.
They listened. And repented. God relented and didn’t destroy them.
Jonah wanted these people judged harshly–they were the enemies of Israel. He complained to God, saying He was too loving and forgiving.
God asked him if the people of Ninevah didn’t deserve a chance to live?
Jonah couldn’t control the outcomes he was part of, but he complained because he didn’t like them. Often our complaints come from anger over what others have done or are doing to us, things we can’t change.
But God. He sees all people and desires that no one should be separated from Him forever but that all should have the chance to experience His forgiveness.
My complaints were aimed at people who were responsible for delivering better glasses quickly. Rather than gratitude for improved vision, I was mad at those I blamed for my poor eyesight.
We all need a chance for forgiveness.
What will it take for you to turn from complaint to hope?