Friday, June 5, 2009

A Purposeful Irritation

I'm hearing grumbling in cyberspace. Everyone is ticked off about something. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, you are upset because the world is not devoting itself to making you happy. That does make for a rough day, I agree. I know my day goes better if everything goes my way. But let's take a step back, and up. Higher. Higher still. Let's get a heavenly perspective.

What is one of the promises we get from the Bible? One that we don't like to think about or hope He was only kidding about? "In this world you WILL have trouble." What that looks like for each of us is going to be different. It might be complaining neighbors. It might be neighbors we are complaining about. It might be a tough boss to work for. It could be family-related. Kids. Husbands. In-laws.

Is it just possible, though, that you have been given these particular stressors for a reason? If you are a follower of Christ, you have a light to share. If you only want to share it while you are standing in the noonday sun, what good is it? Take your little light and shine it into someone's darkness. Maybe the neighbors who are stressing you out could use a little light. Or at least someone to pray for them. And maybe, no pressure here, they are watching you to see how you handle things as a Christian. God promised us persecution. If our boat is never rocking, and we are never made to feel uncomfortable (read: given an opportunity to glorify God through adversity), then we are flying too far under the radar to be a thorn in Satan's side.

So many times I hear people say "God wants me to be happy." To that I say, yes and no. God wants you to be holy (like him) first. The happy comes as a result. Praying for Him to remove the irritations from your life is missing the point. Praying for Him to use you, however He chooses, is spot on. Bottom line: God is good. God is just. God is sovereign. God is in control. So, stop wallowing in the things that upset you, and ask your Maker how He wants you to handle things. I promise you will find the answers when you open His Word. Remember, pigs wallow. We're not pigs. We're sheep.


  1. Oh, my word! You just nailed it. And I thank you cause I need to be reminded of it.

  2. Ooooooh. So true. Love the "thorn in Satan's side" part. LOVE IT. I, too, have been thinking a lot about the troubles/uncomfortable circumstances God is allowing me to go through. I often cannot see that "other side", the REASON He is building my character in these ways. But I know He is at work. And I must be patient, and faithful, to reap the benefit....
    Thank you for your post, Debbie. you seriously ROCK.

  3. Just what I needed to read in my grumbly mood when I sat down at the machine to decompress after our very, very long day at Children's and other clinics.