Boy was Sunday's sermon just perfect for me. We've been learning about complaining, which is something that has been on my heart this past year. I do not want to be a complainer...especially in regards to my kiddos. They are a huge blessing from God and the answer of many, many prayers. I don't want to follow in the Israelites footsteps and grumble all the way to the promised land. Based on the truth that God is always the same and never changes, grumbling in fact, angers him. So, as I've entered into parenthood, I've tried to be very conscious of not complaining, even though pregnancy and then taking care of an infant and toddler can occassionally be trying. Mostly I've done an okay job at not having a spirit of grumbling, but there is something else I need to be careful of now...not becoming self-righteous.
Sunday's sermon linked here: http://ridgefieldnazarene.org/home.aspx?igid=151022 (from 9/16/12 entitled "Crying out Loud") was on what to do with the complainers in our life. Of course everybody complains some, but it would seem that some make it a lifestyle. As I've had a bit of a complainer in my life, I've wondered what I should do? Do I ignore it, avoid the person, do I approach the person and talk to them about it? It's easy to look down my nose and think that I'd never be like that. The scripture that the sermon was on was taken from Exodus 17 and was on those grumbling Israelites (tsk, tsk). The Israelites were constantly complaining as they wandered the desert and as I've read the account many times through my life, I always wonder why they never learned...why they always fell back into their old habit of complaining, of unbelief and desiring to go back to the good ol' days, the days when they were enslaved in Egypt. In this scripture we have a great example from Moses on what to do with those grumblers in our lives...we intercede for them and bring them to the Lord. Sounds pretty obvious, but when you see someone wasting their life away and hindering their friendships b/c of their attitude, it's hard to not do anything else. And of course, it's tempting to grumble about the grumbler! I need to do better at praying and trusting that the Lord can and will handle it. I also need to be ready to be a tool in God's hands, should he lead me to do something more. Our pastor also had us look at the situation from the Israelite's standpoint. Would I complain should I have to eat manna for 40 years? Yes, I'm sure I would. :( It never hurts to try and view things from someone else's perspective!
And here's a rabbit trail...the other thing I've been thinking about was the song we sang after the sermon, which was the Third Day song "Cry Out to Jesus". One of the lines of that song says "For the children around the world without a home, say a prayer tonight." There are so many children around the world that need a home, that need a family. I know personally how scary it can be to step out in faith to take in a child that needed a family and make them your own. These kids tend to have baggage and a lot of things they need to work through. They can be a lot of work and a huge challenge to care for. Yet, they need homes. If anyone has a reason to grumble, it's these abandoned children. Is adoption easy? Even in the best circumstance, it's not a cake walk (which in our case, really is about the best circumstance...he's awesome! But God never promised an easy life to those who follow him. And he did call ALL Christians to care for the fatherless. This doesn't mean adoption is for everyone, but I do believe that more Christians than do, should step out in faith to bring a child into their homes to love and care for.
Anyway, this is just something that's been on my heart this week. It's was a good sermon and if you have a grumbler in your life, you should listen to the sermon too! I promise you'll be blessed by it!