There’s a character in a C.S. Lewis book called Giant Grumblemuffin. I think that name appropriately fits me lately…
The Bible teaches us that we will be asked to take up something hard every day: If anyone wishes to follow Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Lk. 9:23). Even in the midst of our greatest freedom, answered prayer, or dream come true, we can expect to face something hard. Just as the Hebrews did within days of being freed from Pharaoh’s control. Within a couple days, they were faced with no water, no bread, and no meat.
And what did they do? They grumbled against Moses. And what did Moses do? He made clear to them that they’re grumbling wasn’t against him, but against God. (Exod. 16:8). After all, it was God who controlled their circumstances.
And it’s God who controls mine. But I often find myself in the same position as the Hebrews. Whether oppressed or freed, living in want or living in abundance, I’m so prone to complain about the hard thing I have to face today. And when I do, I complain against my God.
But God can’t be any less good to me today than He was to me on Good Friday, 2,000 years ago, when He died for my sin. His goodness isn’t a fleeting attitude (today I feel like being good), but it’s an immutable attribute. He’s good because that’s who He is. Which means that I can trust where He has me now, the good, the bad, the easy, and the hard. No good thing will He withhold from me. And what looks good now might not ultimately be best for me.
I’ve noticed that my complaining has moved from my lips and taken up even greater residence in my heart. So now begins the quest to purge complaining from my heart — that I would be content in all things, just as Paul was.