The Morning after I wrote the blog about grousing, we woke up to find 8 inches of water pouring into our basement from a broken pipe outside in the yard.
The work is not finished yet, but well on its way-That was almost two months ago. I’ve been afraid to blog ever since.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t grouse or complain about the mess and the inconvenience of all that water invading a place it didn’t belong. What a mess! I felt like I needed an overhaul like the basement.
I found myself clinging to Jesus and holding my tongue a lot. I felt His peace many times but at other times I also wanted to tell the world what foul thing had happened to ME. Of course, there are seven of us living in our house right now, so it happened to us, but it felt more personal: like a discipline from the Lord!
Yes, a little swat on the behind to get my eyes off this world once more and put them square on Him who saves us and is worthy to be praised-not groused at.
Honestly, I saw that my ungrateful heart many times wanted to just be flat ungrateful!! I hate ungratefulness in others-I want to HATE it more in ME.
Matthew Henry, a great theologian and scholar has a story that I heard on our local Christian music station, KTSY. It made me think.
It is as follows:
There was an Englishman by the name of Matthew Henry. He was a preacher and well-known Bible scholar who lived from 1662 to 1714. His exposition of the Old and New Testament is a commentary that is still in print to this very day. He was known for his practical application, combined with a well-sustained flow of English literature. Perhaps that is what made the commentary one of the best works of its kind.
One day Matthew Henry was riding his horse through the woods. He was on his way to a church meeting where he was going to be the guest speaker. Suddenly, a masked bandit ran out of the woods with a gun in his hand and demanded that Matthew Henry get off of his horse. Mr. Henry obeyed the robber, as he knew this was a dangerous situation. Even though he tried to talk to the man about God and spiritual matters, the bandit would hear none of it. He quickly took all of Matthew Henry’s money and ran back into the woods. It all happened so quickly that Mr. Henry hardly had time to realize what had happened. Although he was penniless, he got back on his horse and continued on his journey.
His mind took him to the thought that we are supposed to give thanks in everything that happens to us. He asked God how he was supposed to be thankful for being robbed! As he continued on his way, the answer came to him. That night he told the story and concluded his message by sharing the reason he could be thankful for what had happened to him that day.
“First,” he said, “I am thankful I have never been robbed before. Second, I am thankful he took my money and not my life. Third, I am thankful he did not take more; he could have taken my horse and my clothes as well. Next, I am thankful that what I had stolen from me really did not amount to very much. Then I am grateful that what I lost, in time, could be replaced. But, finally, and most importantly, I am thankful that I was the one robbed and not the robber!”
The most incredible thing about this story is Matthew saw that he could be the worst offender and was grateful he wasn’t.
I decided to follow his example.
First, I am thankful the pipe broke when we were home and not on vacation. Second, I am thankful that my grand children who sleep downstairs did not get up and find a dangerous situation. Next, I am thankful that we had insurance and that they replaced all our flooring, walls, and painted everything too. Then, I am thankful that the loss was less than it could have been if it were a Saturday morning where we tend to sleep a bit longer. And finally, I am thankful that my lovely family lives with us until God provides them a home of their own and that there is so much love in this house between us.
So, there you have it. Can I say I learned the lesson of never complaining, completely, and will never complain again? Probably not, but oh my heart longs to be brand new in Jesus every day, so He will help me.
Rejoice in the Lord at all times, and again I say rejoice!!