"When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction." --Isaiah 29:23-24
I can't think of anyone who doesn't know how to grumble or complain. We live in an imperfect world, so it is natural for us to be imperfect in how we behave in times of difficulty. We are far more likely to focus on the negative things, even when they are outnumbered by positive things and examples of God's goodness.
Sometimes life's circumstances truly are awful and undesirable through no fault of our own. Take my recent experience for example. The first draft of this writing was composed in a hospital room. As you may or may not know about me, I have cystic fibrosis and find myself regularly hospitalized because of it. In past hospitalizations I would allow myself to become overly emotional, crying through every known verse and chorus of "woe is me" and "this isn't fair" with a little bit of "life stinks" thrown in just to add some variety.
This time I'm choosing to see that even though this isn't fair, I still have plenty of blessings on which I can focus. My relationship with God is such example of something that is particularly positive in my life. He continually reminds me of his love and care by blessing me with frequent visits from my incredible husband, family, and friends. God's comfort and presence is felt when I think of how wonderful medical science is, and how God guides the healing hands of my doctors. I am uplifted as I consider the reality that God continues to provide for me at every turn.
As the saying goes, "hope springs eternal." My hope in Christ is what keeps me going even (and especially) when I'm struggling with my health. Life may not be fair, but so what. Why complain about that when I have so much for which to praise God. The work he does in my life is worthy of my praise at all times.
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Lauren, this is delightful to read, the part about your faith and optimism and appreciation for the good things. Hang in there, and may God richly continue to bless you and I pray He will heal you. Thomas