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Whining as a born-again believer has to be the most ridiculous waste of time that any of us can indulge in, and yet we still do it. I stand as guilty of this silly offence as the next person. Whining is an indication that faith is momentarily weak, that we’ve forgotten that God is in control, and that things are as they are not because God is vindictive and wants us to suffer, but because we’ve either brought the ‘suffering’ on ourselves, or we’ve had expectations that were not to our benefit and so were nixed by God.
In other words, we chose against God’s will.
This is not necessarily the end of our or anyone else’s world, but it is a wake-up call.
Following Jesus means living more or less opposed to everyone who isn’t following Jesus. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s pretty much the whole world that we’re living opposed to, so it shouldn’t be surprising to us (and it certainly isn’t to God) that sometimes we’ll want what the world wants, not what God wants. Just call it peer pressure.
When that happens, don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize it for what it is, and go to God for help. Yell at him if you want to (he’s got industrial-grade earplugs for moments like these), but remember who’s the source of all good. It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s not the government, it’s not anyone or anything but God.
Think of how Jesus lived. He was for all intents and purposes homeless. He had no money and no possessions beyond the clothes on his back. And yet other than for the odd time when he resorted to eating corn out of a farmer’s field or tried to eat figs from a fruitless tree (and then cursed it for its barrenness), he always had plenty of food and a place to sleep. He was healthy. He was physically vigorous and fully employed in God’s work. And he apparently had such a kick-ass cloak that the soldiers threw lots for it while he was dying on the cross.
This kind of life is where we’re all headed, if we’re true followers of Jesus. We won’t have a home to call our own, we won’t have possessions beyond the few we can carry with us (and I’m not talking U-Haul or RV here), and we won’t have any money beyond what we need for our ‘daily bread’. Our work will be fully for God and his kingdom, and our only friends will be those who, like us, love God and follow Jesus.
Needless to say, we won’t have many friends on Earth, but the one or two that we do have will be true friends, not facebook friends or fair-weather friends.
In any case, the only friend we really need is Jesus. He understands what we’re going through because he went through it himself.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is not just a song. “Give us this day our daily bread” is not just a line from scripture. These are directives on how to survive in this world and overcome temptations. Whining is a temptation. Get past it. Many of those who followed Moses into the desert didn’t get past their whining and never made it to the promised land because of it.
Don’t end up like them. Next time you’re tempted to whine about something, remember: “This too shall pass.”