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Got A Complaint?
Stephen A. Peterson
It was February 14, 2006, Valentine’s Day, and everything seemed to be going wrong in 15 year old Jody McCloud’s life. She was placed in a psychiatric treatment facility for seriously hurting a friend she got into a fight with; her parents were divorcing; and her younger brother needs a liver transplant or he will die. Just when Jody was about to take out her anger and frustration by yelling at and striking a treatment facility staff, she stopped. A childhood memory of something her second grade teacher Gwen Watson used to say came to her mind. Ms. Watson was crippled by polio as a child and was often in pain, but was never known by anyone to complain. “I don’t discuss any pain and troubles to other people,” she would tell Jody, “I save what bothers me to discuss with God.”
On that sad and gloomy day, Jody went to her assigned room and bowed her head in prayer. But just as Jody was about to tell God about her miserable and sorry situation, something very strange happened. She found herself listening to the rhythmic sound of rain slamming against the hospital window.
“God, uh…! God, You, uh…! Come on! Go ahead and complain!” she said to herself. At that point, the rain came down harder and harder giving moisture to the City of Oklahoma City that had not a seen a drop of rain for more than three months. “How great! How precious it is…” Rather than register a complaint with God, Jody found herself thanking God for the rain Oklahoma City was now receiving.
Then, on the floor she saw bent up letters her brother gave her just as the juvenile workers came to take her into custody. Kneeling down, she carefully picked up the letters opened one of them, then read her brother’s message to her. In it she read the comforting and mature composition of her 12 year old brother. It made her proud that she had such a wise brother in the midst of his personal suffering and his dance with death.
And that’s the way it went for Jody. Within minutes of these events, it came to Jody just what her second grade teacher had meant. Who can come before God to complain about the pain and suffering in our lives without thinking about Jesus’? Who can truly complain without considering and cherishing the gifts of life, grace and eternal life that God has freely and unconditionally given every person who will accept them? Have you even considered for one minute ALL of the good things God has showered upon you? (i.e. ability to breathe, see, walk, eat and so forth)? Do you have something that bothers you? Something you don’t understand? Jody learned that saving complaints for God means forgetting about them and dwelling on His grace and unconditional love for herself and all of humankind.
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All Praise be to God. Jesus the ultimate sufferer for the sake of Humanity, Has doneit all for us! He was despised and rejected, spit on, mocked, and put to death. For us! Even after that He Arose from the dead. If He could Rise we can rise from our lowest points. God bless you for writing this. This writing is well apreciated! AND NEEDED!