I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely.
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
JOB 10:1 NLT
Sometimes you are like Elijah—experiencing burnout syndrome. At such times, you are almost to the point of praying desperately like him, “I have had enough, take my life.” You have never been totally burned out, but you have gotten mighty warm.
You have not had to weather a perfect storm like Job. You have always liked your life, never loathed it. Sometimes the emotional terrain you traveled has been steep and rough, but you have generally enjoyed the walk.
This is not to say you have not done your share of complaining. Instead of celebrating My goodness, you tend to complain and gripe. Rather than being humbly grateful, you often turn grumbly hateful. Even on a bright, blue-sky day, you can find something to frown about. Focusing on your bitterness instead of My blessing, it is hard to smile—all you can seem to manage is a sigh.
Get over your self-pity. Let Me teach you to sing My praises. You complain that your feet hurt—some have only one leg, or none. You complain about the day being dark and cloudy—some people have never seen the sunlight. You complain about life’s noise, how hard it is to find any peace and quiet—some people have never heard music. You complain about having to pay so many bills—some people do not have the money to pay them. You complain about so much to do—some people are unemployed.
If complain, complain, complain has become your prevalent attitude, here is a little shock therapy—if you had never been born, then you would not have anything at all to complain about!
Trust Me—behind life’s misery and mystery, there is Meaning. Pain has a high and noble purpose. Trials can lead to triumph. Hurt can shape you into holiness. Bitterness can become a blessing. It all depends on your attitude.
When your life becomes a bitter pill, you can pay a visit to heaven’s complaint department and demand to see the Manager—or you can submit to the Master, swallow bitterness, and be blessed.
I do not ask you to give thanks for all circumstances, but to give thanks in all circumstances. No matter how tough your situation, there is always a reason to be grateful—if you look prayerfully enough.
(c) Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity