The evidence is all over his face. Yellow dust from the flowers that I just planted the other day. Where there used to be radiant colors, there are only bare stalks that rise up out of the ground. Carl has no idea how much his actions have hurt me. But I think it is the inability to know how to stop him that causes me such anxiety.
Frustration of not being in control of this situation has seeped into my heart and mind. Thoughts of how to deal with this problem flood through my brain as a crushing feeling fills my belly. I feel stuck in a time warp of thoughts that won’t leave me alone. Why should Carl’s actions and the lack of yellow blossoms bring me such dread?
How does anyone who has their joy stripped away return to normalcy that existed before the calamity? How can we replace the damaging thoughts that are bombarding us with constructive ones that can bring refreshment? I am close to the point of complaining about my situation but know better.
Why do we get so preoccupied with our personal issues, no matter how small, and let them take over our thought processes? Why is this so detrimental to our relationship with God? Recently, I have been reading in the book of Numbers and have come to a new conviction about how God feels when we resort to complaining.
Apparently, Miriam, Moses’ sister began to become consumed with complaints against Moses and his new wife. What might of started as a kernel of a negative thought snowballed to the point that she began to complain to her brother Aaron about Moses. After it became an obsession, she and Aaron approached Moses about his spiritual leadership.
In Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron are brought before God and His judgment is swift and clear. After the cloud of God is lifted, Miriam is stricken with leprosy from head to toe. And to make matters worse for her, she is sent outside of the camp and is considered an outcast. Aaron must have felt remorse and sorrow for his sister and pleaded with God to heal Miriam. Being the merciful father that he is, he healed her after seven days.
This is only one of many examples of how God responded to people complaining about their situation. As I thought more about it, if God would rebuke the Israelites, who had so little, I can’t imagine how He must feel about my complaints. Paul writes about this in Philippians 4:11 when he states that he had learned to be content in ALL situations. If he could be content chained to a wall in a prison, I can be content with green bare stalks poking up from the dirt. And I must admit that Carl sure does look cute with the yellow dust wiped across his face.