Grumbling Stomach, Grumbling Soul

stormIt’s embarrassing to have your stomach grumble in public, that’s why church potlucks are so important, they help keep that from happening! I got to thinking recently that not only can my stomach grumble but often my soul grumbles too!

I grumble about the people I serve in my church. I grumble about the people who I think should be attending and aren’t. I have caught myself grumbling about serving God in a small way in an out of the way place (my perception of my situation).

While working on a sermon recently I was reminded of the seriousness of the sin of grumbling (sometimes I don’t even consider it a sin). The Israelites who were led out of slavery in Egypt never survived the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and had to leave possession of the promised land to their descendants. The reason? God told them, “In this desert your bodies will fall – every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.” (Numbers 14:29)

When I think of the times I’ve succumbed to grumbling I realize that frequently it’s a disguised complaint against God. My grumbling is ingratitude for something in my circumstances that’s a part of my calling.

So, I confess as sin my grumbling. I also rejoice in God’s grace and goodness toward me even when I’ve allowed my soul to grumble!

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The Good and the Bad in Each Day

tracksRick Warren, the best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, said in an interview, “I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.”

I’ve found this analogy to be very helpful. Each day is a mixture of good and bad: some days more good than bad and some days more bad than good. We can’t ignore the bad, but we also don’t have to fixate on it either! If we’re not careful we can miss the good in each day.  As a pastor I’ve been with people when life turns really bad in some tragedy, but even in the tragedy I see some good – some good people coming around to be of help and support to those going through the tragedy.

Not only is there always some good to be found in each day, but we also have a good God who is there with us in each of our days; we just have to reach out to Him. This world may be broken, but we can survive and even thrive in it because the Lord is with us! We can live well because we can be with Him and He with us!

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Just a Thought….

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Just a Thought….

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