Ben and I are walking down a road right now that neither one of us could have ever imagined. Ben is being asked to lay down so many things that comprise the very essence of who he is. I am being called on to take on more and more responsibilities. God, in his providence, has arranged our circumstances so that we both feel stretched beyond our limits (and have for many years).
We pray. We ask God to change our circumstances. But our tendency can also be to grumble. To complain. To charge God with not being good to us.
Ben and I were talking today, and we realized that behind all of our complaining, underneath all of our anger and frustration and grumbling, what we are really experiencing is grief.
The Bible has a lot to say about grumbling and about complaining, and none of it is good. But the Bible also has a lot to say about grieving. The losses Ben and I are experiencing are very real. We are grieving the loss of Ben’s health. We are mourning the loss of his freedom and ability to do many of the things he loves. We are saddened by the fact that I need to take on even more work to help our family financially. And we are grieving over the impact of all of these things on our children.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, the apostle Paul reminds his readers not to “grieve as others do who have no hope.” My prayer is that Ben and I would not grumble or complain, but that we would grieve as those who have hope. I pray that our grief would remind us that God promises us that there will be a day when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Lord, help us to live in light of that day.