I love the 1 Corinthians 13 passage of scripture in the Amplified version. It is such a detailed description of what love practically looks like in everyday life and can be used as a test to compare my life with the life of love that the Bible says God has "shed abroad in my heart" even though I'm not always conscious of it!
I often apply that verse when I am tempted to be impatient, judgemental, critical, nasty, quick-tongued or angry with another person (yes, I do have those urges from time to time), knowing that the power to not be any of those things has been placed in me by the Holy Spirit. But today, I thought about this passage in a totally different light. Not only should we put these verses into action with other people, but also with God.
What causes unbelief in our lives? Unbelief can easily gain a resting place in our hearts when we have trials, hurts, hard circumstances, disappointments, problems with people and frustrations which we somehow then attribute to God. We start to accuse God by our deep sighing, our frustrated groans, our presenting Zacharias type arguements in an effort to "clarify" things. The problem is that we often don't recognize it as doubt or unbelief! We pass it off as part of the "human condition", and then run to God whining and complaining.
But what does our whining and complaining really say to God? If our checking account is empty, what does laying out every need in excruciating detail really say to Him? Do we think that God is not aware that the water heater is leaking and causing a mold problem? Do we think that He doesn't see the leaking toilet and know that it needs to be fixed-pronto? Does He not know that the dryer is totally dead and that there are 3 loads of wet towels waiting to be dried so that the water from the water heater and the toilet can be soaked up before it runs all the way through the basement, creating more mold problems in other places in the house? (Does this sound too much like my life today?) Yes, it's inconvenient but it certainly doesn't warrant whining and unbelief.
Actually whining is unbelief. It is telling God that He is slacking in His promises to take care of us. It is telling Him that we deserve better than what He is providing, when really, we don't deserve squat! It is saying to Him, the Lord is my Shepherd but I'm in want! It's saying that the water is a bit bitter, the grass is a little dry and sticking in my throat. It's saying that what's on the table today just doesn't appeal to me and would He please put sweeter stuff out for me to eat. It is the devil's way to destroy faith and prohibit it from being used to keep ourselves in a position of receiving something that will help us and will glorify God!
Aren't we instructed to make our requests known to God with thanksgiving? So instead of complaining and whining to God, I just sit and I think to myself. (By this time, I've already had that sinking, sickening, frustrated feeling try to assail me, I feel the frustration trying to take over my mood and my thoughts which will ultimately affect my words and my actions, which will ultimately affect my husband and my children and my unsaved neighbors!) So I sit and I rehearse in my mind, and I meditate by letting it come out of my mouth--yes, call me crazy but I talk to myself and I say, "the Word of God is true. God meant exactly what He said. God will do exactly what He said if I just believe that He meant what He said. So since He is Jehovah Jireh, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He draws my needs from His riches in glory, I can just thank Him for the specific things that I need. I can just say, Lord, thank you for a fixed dryer, a fixed water heater, a fixed toilet and know that in His way and in His time, He will do it!" And I know that He will do it in such a way that He will show Himself strong to me and bring glory to Himself. (Whoever said that God is not a bit of showoff? Can you blame Him?)
In fact, in the time it has taken me to write this blog, the dryer repairman appeared. I have learned that I need to be especially careful about taking weedeater string out of pant's pockets before putting them in the dryer because they blew the most expensive fuse on my dryer. But because, in the words of my repairman, "God has blessed me so much that I am going to give you a big discount", he gave me a used part, because "they never corrode or go bad, they either work or they blow". So my dryer repair cost me $20.00, which basically paid for his gas and a smidgen of his time. (Yes, daughter, there will still be a wedding!) While he was here, he also went over the whole dryer and cleaned everything out so now my dryer works better than it has in a very long time! He also gave me some good information about water heaters and an honest repairman that won't rip me off and "clarified" a few things for me about toilet repair as well. I honestly don't think that this is a coincidence. God always responds to genuine faith in His Word.
So, I am off to call the water heater repairman and to Wal-Mart to get the mold resistant primer that will go on the wall behind the water heater while the water heater is out being repaired to prevent any further mold problems. I can see the end! It's in sight!
I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do with this next project! Go ahead God! Show me how strong you really are!