Living Life Without Complaint

I have a friend that, for the past ten years, has been the embodiment of all that a godly friend should be. She has been not just the hands and feet of Christ to me, but the heart and mind of Christ…she has been Truth to me and for me.

I found out Friday night that she is moving away.

I cried. Three days later and my heart still hurts at the thought and I can hardly stand it. I was sort of praying and sort of bemoaning her move when I realized I sounded like I was mourning her death. Like she was gone forever and never again would I be able to see her.

God granted some insight into that moment for me and showed me how foolish, indeed how ungrateful I was behaving. Is it a sad thing that my friend will not be here close by? Yes. But my goodness, I just face timed last night with another friend that moved to Japan three months ago! Susan will only be five hours away…we have phones, and we can text, email and even slap a stamp on an envelop and as old fashioned as it may be, mail letters to each other. I think we can even manage a two and a half hour car ride and meet up with each other somewhere in the middle of her new home and mine.

Is it sad that I will not see her everyday as we drop off and pick up our children from school or have the occasional breakfast together? Yes. But not only have I been given the gift of her friendship but I live in a time of great technology that will allow us to continue our friendship almost undisturbed.

The whole situation with my friend has shown me how spoiled I am to some very simple and convenient aspects of my life.

It’s like complaining about what a pain doing laundry is when I am doing it in the comfort of my cooled or heated home and basically tossing clothes from one machine into another. I’m not outside washing them by hand and hanging them on the line to dry. And I have so much laundry because God has been abundant in His provision for my family. Of course I have a lot of laundry…He has granted me five children!

Later today I will do my grocery shopping. Normally I can begrudge the process of picking food up off the shelf, placing it into the buggy, going to a register, unloading all the groceries, picking up bags of groceries and putting them back into the buggy so I can go out to my car and unload them from the buggy just so that I can get home and unload them from the car and carry them into my house and take everything out of the bags and put it all away.

But to complain would seem to despise the gift of having not only plenty of food to eat but the ability to go to a store and get a buggy full of groceries so my family can eat in the first place.

It would show a heart that is ungrateful. It is the same with my laundry and my friend moving away and any number of ways I could so easily find to complain. Instead I want to celebrate and rejoice over the gifts God has granted me for no other reason than He delights in doing so. By doing so I will be shining a light into a world dark with ingratitude and selfishness.

May you look for ways to celebrate what has been given to you by a generous Father who grants blessing and favor in big and small ways.

Do everything without grumbling and disputing,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:14 &15

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