Scripture

James 5:7-11

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

 

10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Reflection

I just spent a few days with family and friends at the beach. That is my happy place! I love the water, the sun, the beauty and the relaxation of a beach atmosphere. But some people find the mosquitos, the heat, the humidity, and the sand in all sorts of crevices to be too much for them to find enjoyment at the beach. I get it. I experience all of those things too, but the good stuff outweighs the bad for me. When I am at the beach, I don’t complain about any of the bad stuff, because I am so happy about the other. 

It is near impossible to live with a complaining attitude, and find joy and happiness at the same time. 

James tells us:

Be patient - give God time to bless you

Don’t complain - judgment comes to the ungrateful

Be an example - let Christ be seen in you

God is good - full of compassion and mercy 

I think our tendency to complain is rooted in the fact that we don’t have control. We want to control life desperately, essentially, we want to be God. Subconsciously, we think that If we were God, we would have nothing to complain about. We complain because things don’t go our way, God does not do what we want, life disappoints us, stuff happens and we are inconvenienced, little things, big things, many things. So we complain. And in reality, this is an act of rebellion against God, against God’s ways, God’s provision, and God’s blessings.

Today, become aware of every complaint that you think or speak. Ask a good friend to help you. Don’t judge, just be aware and make mental note. Tonight, consider all of those complaints and what that means for you and your relationship to God. 

Prayer

Creator God, I give you thanks for the very breath of life your grace gives me today. I know I have no control over what will happen in it. I choose not to remain in fear, or dwell in uncertainty or anxiety about the possibilities. I chose to embrace this day without complaint, gratitude instead. I give this day, this life back to you. May you use me to bless others. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.