The Strange Effect Of Praying

As Mom drove across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to the train station, my sister and I expressed our dread of another year-long visit from Granny. It wasn’t so much that we’d have to share a bedroom again (actually, I kind of liked that part). And I looked forward to her lemon cake.

But Granny complained. A lot. About everything. My sister and I spent that car ride telling Mom how much her complaining bothered us.

Mom validated our feelings by responding, “Granny’s not happy unless she has something to complain about.”

Lately, I’ve been struggling with the sin of complaining. I wake up complaining that it’s time to wake up. Throughout the day, I notice myself grumbling internally about various matters ranging from my assorted aches and pains to my frustrations over COVID-19 restrictions. I understand that complaining exposes a lack of trust in the Lord, not to mention an ungrateful attitude.

I encourage you to grab a concordance or a topical index and look up Bible verses on complaining, grumbling and murmuring. You’ll quickly discover that the Lord has zero tolerance for such attitudes. He has been so gracious to us that our complaints are indeed a slap in His face.

Therefore, I’ve been grieved that I complain as much as Granny used to. How can I be so ungrateful? Hasn’t the Lord blessed me far more abundantly than I’ll ever deserve?

So I’ve been praying a lot about my sin of complaining. Christ deserves my praise, not my list of grievances. I don’t want to be like Granny because I want to honor Him.

But as I’ve been praying about all this, I’ve realized that Granny was about the age I am now when she started complaining. Was she suffering with increasing aches and pains? Was she discouraged by the direction our country was taking? Did see see her independence ebbing away?

I still hate my sin of complaining. I still pray that God will help me repent of this affront to His character. Nevertheless, I praise Him for using my sin to give me some compassion towards my grandmother. Interesting how He did that.

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