O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
between my receivings and my deservings,
between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness
between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit
The Mover from Valley of Vision
Honest confession: I’ve been a complainer lately. My life has been somewhat – okay insanely – busy. Long papers to write, tricky Greek words to memorize, books to read – all wonderful things leaving me little time for anything else. I feel like I’m stumbling through a fog, just moving from one thing to the next.
And I’ve had a low-grade cold that won’t go away, like one of those people who doesn’t pick up certain social cues. I’ve been chomping on Zinc and guzzling “Airborne” but things still aren’t quite right.
It’s these kind of weeks that are ripe for complaining. I survey my life, look at the chaos around me, and feel like I deserve better. I deserve a peaceful life, good health, and a small bird sitting on my shoulder singing a happy tune (okay scratch that last one). Or do I?
Nothing kills complaining like a good dose of the gospel. When I consider the difference between what I really deserve and what I’ve received, I am astonished. Each morning I experience new mercies from God – I should be experiencing new judgments. God is my loving Father – he should be my judge. I am always getting much, much better than I deserve. The gospel leaves zero margin for complaining.
The next time you’re tempted to complain about your tyrannical boss, or bickering kids, or chronic illness, ponder the gospel. Let yourself be astonished at the difference between what you’ve received and what you deserve.