I wonder if you will agree with me when I make this statement? "There is a lot of complaining in the world?" Some of you may say no while others jokingly may reply " I agree Ryan, and you do a lot of it!"...at least I hope you are joking!!! (Ha Ha)Anyway, I think a large portion of people would agree that yes there is a lot of complaining, and dare I say, whining, in the world.
This past weekend, Ashley and I attended our district Minister and Mates retreat! We were asked to lead worship, which was a big honor and humbling experience...but I will save that for another blog entry. To be honest, I was excited about this getaway because it was a moment in time that I could stop and rest. For the past few months, I have felt like I had been doing a little to much complaining and whining about life in general. There are several times in my life when I get this feeling, and when I do it is because of two things. The first is that my schedule is becoming really busy, and when I don't get a handle on it from the beginning, I feel like the schedule is controlling me instead of me controlling the schedule. The second thing is that because of the crazy schedule, I feel like I can not spend as much time in the word. I know what you are thinking..."Ryan your schedule should not be an excuse for not reading & doing devotional!" I know this and that is what makes me frustrated; which leads to complaining;which leads to the whining. Do you get where I am headed? Bottom line, I was ready to stop from the normal pace...for only a second.
Dr. Stan Toler was the guest speaker for the retreat! I enjoyed working with him and hearing what he had to say. On the first night, He was talking about Holiness and Attitude! Of course being in the foul spiritual state I was in, I felt like this was what God needed me to hear! Essentially the message based from the scripture found in Romans 12:1-2 which speaks of being "transformed by the renewing of your minds..." In that moment, I realized that I needed to shift my mental focus. I needed to change this attitude of grumbling and judgment and maybe a little fear; and be reminded of the days of God's faithfulness. I needed to have a Thanksgiving mind set...and no I am not talking about turkey! Dr. Toler went through a list of mental changes such as "replacing anger with love, replacing fear with faith, replace bitterness with forgiveness, replace sadness with happiness," and "replace grumble with gratitude."
That same evening as I was finishing some evening reading, I flipped my bible over to Psalm 64. It caught my attention at the opening verse "Hear my voice, O God in my complaint; " Even as I am typing this, I am getting a little grin on my face, for I am reminded of God's Humor and even more important, His timing.
As you continue to read the psalm (and I hope you take a moment and read it), the mood shifts at verse with these words, "But God..." God is big enough to handle our problems, hear our worries, complaints, and even our doubts. However, I think He would really like us to move past all of that and remember to trust in Him. I know this weekend, I was challenged to move past my grumbling and complaining and retune my mind so that I could continue to walk in His will for my life.
We all know that there are bumps in the road and life is never perfect! We all know that we will encounter situations that will test and we may even find ourselves at the losest points of our lives. But I encourage you to hold on! When the pressure of life is on us, we have to continue to praise Him...for we know he is working a plan for our good! The next time you feel tempted to complain- and there will be a next time- remember that God can handle it! Remember that he knows all about your situation and the he want to help. Even more important, He can help you!
He is able!