Grandison’s mouth hung slack-jawed. He could not believe what he had just heard the Lord say to him. Grandison had walked up to the judgment seat with a few prepared things he felt he needed to say to the Lord before the Lord got into judging him. He had a lengthy list of complaints accumulated from his lifetime of inconveniences and sufferings, and he intended on giving the Lord a piece of his tongue and a piece of his mind.
First of all, he found it incredulous how the Lord had permitted him to suffer throughout his adult years. He had to work for a living, and it was hard getting up and going to the company’s office. He worked one job for forty years, and only raked in 120K a year. That was hardly enough to keep up his boat and motor, plus a new car every year, plus an annual vacation for the family. He had had it hard.
And, he planned on telling the Lord that the Lord had not taken good enough care of him.
Second, there was that church he attended. The Lord frequently kept laying additional things on the heart of those preachers, which meant that the preaching services always went longer than noon.
The choir did not help the situation either, because they always had to sing all eight verses of “Just As I Am” during the invitation time in an attempt, he judged it, to coerce that one last person to the altar. The invitation times were just too long, and he resented it.
Then there was that one guy who always was called on to dismiss the service with a word of prayer. He always preached his dismissal prayer that was always at least twenty minutes long before the “Amen” was said and done. By that time Grandison’s bladder was aching horribly.
And, Grandison planned on groaning to the Lord how poorly the Lord had run the church services.
Finally, Grandison planned to raise the complaint that the Lord did not keep him from dying often enough. Once he had by-pass surgery that gave him a new lease on life. He had not died at that time. He contracted cancer and had to suffer through the treatments. But, he survived.
But, he was really mad how the Lord had not preserved his life that last time. The Lord should have warned him to slow down so that he would not have missed dead man’s curve—-and not have plowed through the guardrail—-and not have plunged 200 feet over the cliff. His tickets for the Steelers’ game had even got burned up in the crash. That lengthy church service had made him late for getting started for the game. That was the very reason why he had to drive so fast.
And, he planned on telling the Lord that the Lord had not protected him well enough in his life.
But, Grandison found himself utterly chagrined that the Lord did not let him get a word in edgewise, and right there in the middle of Heaven telling him in front of all the others and the angels, “You groaned and complained too much!”
Back during the days of the Bible, a Psalmist indicated his determination to groan and complain unto the Lord. Job wanted to groan and complain. So did Jeremiah and Habakkuk. It rather leads us to consider the rule the people of God should go by when their lives are focused on groaning and complaining.
The rule starts with considering that if a person has reason to complain it is the Lord Himself. Our senseless sinfulness exacted of Him the need to leave His wonderful Heavenly home and divine glory to do something for us what we could not do for ourselves. While here, He was criticized and lied about, but did not complain. He was ostracized and rejected, but did not groan about it.
He did no wrong, but was mercilessly beaten. He was ruthlessly crucified and suffered severely. But, even during those moments of dying, He did not groan. He did not complain. What should be the groaner’s rule for complaining? Go figure.
In the mean time, no one paid Grandison any attention. After all, salvation, redemption, and God’s deep rich blessings should sufficiently keep our mouths from running off with groaning and complaining.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and ministers in the local area.