George’s mouth hung slack-jawed. He could not believe what he had just heard the Lord say to him.
George had walked up to the Judgement 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 when he had been alive in this life.
First of all, he could not believe how the Lord had let him suffer throughout his lifetime. He had to work for a living, and, if that was not enough, the job he got to work for forty years only raked in $120K a year. That was barely enough to keep up his boat and motor, plus a new car every year, plus a family vacation to provide for. He had had it hard.
And, he had planned on telling the Lord that the Lord had not taken good care of him.
Second, there was that church he attended. The Lord frequently kept laying additional things on the heart of that preacher to say, which meant that the preaching always went longer than noon. The choir did not help any either. They always had to sing all eight verses of “Just As I Am” during the invitation twice to coerce that one last person to the altar. Then there was that one guy who was always called on to dismiss the service with a word of prayer that usually wound up being 12,000 words of prayer before the “Amen” was said and done.
And, George planned on telling the Lord how poorly the Lord had run the church services.
Finally, George wanted to raise the complaint that the Lord did not keep him from dying often enough. One time he had to have bypass surgery that gave him a new lease on life. He had not died then. One time he had cancer through which he had to suffer treatment. He had not died then, either.
But, he was 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 that sharp 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 to the game on time. That was the reason he had to drive so fast.
And, he had planned on telling the Lord that the Lord had not protected him well enough.
Then he thought the Lord was completely out of line to tell him right there in the middle of Heaven that “You complain too much.”
Are you like our brother-in-the-Lord, George, who, like the Psalmist, is bound-and-determined to make a complaint unto the Lord—-continually — or, every day — or very often? What is the rule saints should go by when they have the urge to complain?
Those urges to complain should be mollified by remembering, primarily, that if any person had reasons to complain it was the Lord Himself. Our sins exacted of Him the need to leave His Heavenly home and divine glory to do something for us that we could not do for ourselves. While here, He was criticized without complaining. He was ostracized without complaining. He was crucified without complaining. Even during those moments of dying for the sins of us all, He did not complain. “…guile was not found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” What is the complainer’s rule of complaint? Go figure.
In the meantime, George tried to complain how the Lord treated him at the Judgment Seat, but no is paying any attention to him. After all, why should a saint be a complainer when the Lord did so much Himself for the salvation of our souls? Heaven-bound saints actually have too much to utter thanks for rather than running off at the mouth with complaining.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.