It does not take much- squeals of excitement over a gift turns into uproars of anger over inequality and unfairness. It takes only- a looking; it takes only- a hearing; and sometimes it takes- a thinking. When that gift is seen in the light of many gifts of varied sizes, gratefulness changes into thoughts of unfairness.
Indignant comparison is at its best when divine providence is fought the most.
All it took for Saul was to hear a song about David- and the excitement over his calling and position and the gratefulness he felt towards God vanished.
All it took for Eve was to see, that the fruit was good to look at and for discerning, and that it promised to make her wise like God. That covetousness compromised the sheer joy she carried as a perfect, supreme creation.
All it took for those hired first was to see the wages of the others to be indignant over unfairness when the wonder of unmerited provisions gave away.
All it took for Miriam and Aaron was to be uneasy with the chain of command that was projected as an uneasiness over a personal decision of Moses ( concerning the nationality of his wife) and to question his authority.
All it took for the ten disiciples to be indignant was to hear that the mother of James and John had asked Jesus for a special favor.
All it took Judas was to see the abandoned worship of a woman to be indignant over the apparent waste.
All it took Cain to be indignant was to see the favor of God over Abel, and the next thing, he became a murderer.
All it took Joseph’s brothers was to see the privilege Joseph had over them to be indignant towards him.
All it took for the prodigal’s brother was to hear that his brother had returned and that the Father lavished favor upon him, to be indignant over the father’s unfair mercy over his wasteful brother.
Things you see and hear could make you indignant. It does not take much for our gratefulness, our awe of salvation to be despised and given away and to be indignant with thoughts of unfairness. We are not too far from giving up our born-again rights (birth rights)of gratitude when a stew of instant gratification is brewing within us.
- We need to remind ourselves that God is enough for us. Even when Jesus has not done speaking to us and building us up, what we want to know is ” Lord, what about him?” I like the way Jesus redirects Peter when he looks at John ( the disciple Jesus Loves) and asks “Lord, what about him?” Jesus says “What is it to you? You follow me.” John 21:22
- Changing–what about him, to what is it to me? I must follow Him–is a good way of disciplining ourselves to trust God’s sovereignty. His mysteries should only add to our worship because even when He is mysterious, He is perfectly just and faithful.
- He is mysterious and Sovereign, but His works are also righteous. Righteousness and justice goes before all His actions. Take comfort in that truth and ask Him for the grace to hang on until He comes for us.
- He has been faithful in the past, He will be in the future- He never fails!
- Be content in the gifts God has given us that we did not deserve. Discipline ourselves to remember how He led in the past.
- God’s work goes on no matter where He has you. This is a good time to think if we are really after God’s work, His glory or our work and our glory. The truth is our God is untamable. Nothing can stop Him. If we are really after God’s glory and His work, rest in the knowledge that His work goes on and He has you right where He wants.