Monday, December 19, 2011
The Dojo of Complaint
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anquish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." - Job 7:11
My kids have mastered the art of complaining. As I was wondering in and out of their "Dojo of Complaint" (the kitchen) I caught this one from Teya (think naiselly whine - like the sound of an airplane's landing gear being deployed):
"This juice is gross! Mom, did you put anything in it?" Melissa (who's stirring powders and concoctions for my juice - yuck!) - "No, just love." Teya - "Love tastes disgusting."
Ah the lessons I'm learning from the Dojo of Complaint.
And Job didn't mind complaining did he? He refused to restrain his spirit and spoke in the anguish of his spirit. (Of course he was nowhere as fickle as Teya.)
This Sunday our pastor began his sermon with the question "Why?" He just threw it out there and let it hang, with all of it's weight. It was pretty awkward. But isn't it the question that's so often on our hearts, (especially near Christmas)?
I have often inched away from questions like that. In fact I've heard it said that we can ask "What?" of God but not "Why?" But I don't believe this anymore, I believe that if we're to follow this good God, he has capable ways of answering our deepest and most painful questions.
Our pastor went on to unpack the passage in Matthew of the flight to Egypt, the slaughter of the innocents and Jesus' return to Nazareth. He explained that Jesus knew, right from the beginning of his life, our deepest suffering.
As he went on to explain this dark side of Christmas, the babies Herod slaughtered in fear and rage, he illustrated on how this can answer our "Why?" Jesus was to live a full life of suffering right from the get-go. He was to know loss, rejection, slander, misunderstanding, hatred, pain, torture and death. Is he not qualified to answer "Why?"
He's not only qualified... The passage in Matthew quotes from Jeremiah who prophecies that God would lead out his servant from Egypt and would rescue his people, make a new covenant with them, and write his law on their hearts.
So if this Christmas season unearths your deepest pains and has you asking "Why?" Ask Jesus. He's qualified, and he has your answer. I think he is the answer. So dig deep. Go ahead and ask.
(picture can be found at http://www.bigwowo.com/2009/07/raising-a-karate-kid/)