Monday, December 26, 2016

Jeremiah 12:5 -- On Whining and Weathering

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"
Jeremiah 12:5


This verse seems to be responding to the question from the beginning of the chapter: "Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?"  As a response to that question, it is pretty much telling the asker (and all the rest of us) to learn to deal with it.  Not that God doesn't have compassion for what we are going through, but he makes the excellent point that if we can't cope with the current challenges and troubles we have and the wickedness that now surrounds us, we probably are going to have a difficult time handling future, more challenging obstacles.

I am absolutely not saying that everything that we ask about or question in life is meaningless.  God does care about our lives, and how well we are coping.  But I think if we take a step back and look at ourselves honestly, we'll find that we often ask questions that are sort of whiny.  God cares anyway, and does all he can to help us, but part of helping us is pointing it out, so we can learn to do better.  Having someone tell us to stop whining is rarely what we want to hear, but sometimes the most important message to accept, because I think it can change our perspective from focusing on suffering and complaining to focusing on changing and transcending... weathering the storm in a way that will make us more prepared for the next one, rather than less. :)

When we focus on change instead of complaint, then we empower ourselves to work on doing something about the situation, rather than just leaving things the way that they are.  We can't always address the problem directly, but we can almost always do something about our attitudes or our perspective, and how we handle adversity.  Today, let's make sure we distinguish between things that are worth our mental energy and things that are not.  And when they are, let's commit to make changes in our own lives to help us prepare for and deal with those challenges, instead of expecting the world, or God, to step in and change things for us.

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