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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Hold Your Tongue

Today we'll wrap up our series on Four Things To Do When Facing Your Red Sea. For those of you who may have missed the previous posts, here's a quick summary. The first thing we should do is be brave. God does not want us to fear, no matter how treacherous the circumstances may seem. Secondly, He wants us to be still and let Him do His thing. Thirdly, we are to watch what He's doing. We need to keep our eyes on Him and not on the troubles we're facing.  Lastly, we need to be quiet. 

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:13-14) 

Hold your peace. Be quiet. Don't whine, moan or complain. I'll tell you what, the Lord has been beating me over the head with this one lately. Ever since He began dealing with me about writing the Rise Up and Build books, one of the biggest lessons He's been teaching me is to stop complaining. It's amazing how easily I slip into whines and complaints without even realizing it.

For example, last Sunday, I was giving a prayer request in our Sunday School class. I meant for it to be a request, but before I knew it, it had turned into a "poor pitiful me" sob fest. And you know what? One of our sweet ladies called me on it and asked, "Are you still doing your fasting from fussing?" At first, I was embarrassed. But then, I was thankful. Pleased that someone loved me enough to keep me on track and point out a blind spot. It was eye-opening, and I have thanked and commended the lady for what she did.

For whatever reason, it's our nature to whine and complain. When things don't go our way, we fuss. When we're tired, hungry or achy, we fuss. When we've had a bad day or a bad night's rest, we fuss. As I've worked over the past few months to become more in tune with my speech so I could stop my complaints in their tracks, I've also become more attuned to everyone else's speech. Wow! Complaints are everywhere. As I stand in line at the grocery store, two cashiers complain about another employee. As I wait at the chiropractor's office, people complain about the weather. As I do my daily prayer walk, bicyclists and joggers complain about work problems, family members and so much more. Yikes!

When we're facing difficult situations, it's tempting to complain. For curious types like me, it also seems like the ideal time to ask questions.

What are you doing, God?

How are you going to work this out, Lord?

Are you going to follow my plan this time or do your own thing? 

Why am I going through this?

When will this situation be over? 

We go to God like an inquisitive child and pepper Him with a dozen questions instead of trusting that He is doing what is best.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do is just to stand still and be quiet. Don't gripe. Don't ask questions. Don't even try to explain the situation to someone else. Just be quiet. Let God work. Let God speak. Give Him the opportunity to fill the silence with His awesome power and glory. Yes, when it comes to talking, sometimes less is more!

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. - Proverbs 13:3


Page McGraw said...

I so needed this reminder today! I have been in a complete whining and complaining fest for quite some time. Thank you for your devotionals. Such a blessing!

Dana Rongione said...

Thank you, Page. Your comment made me smile because I can relate all too well. But things are getting better. God is really helping me in this area, and I know He'll help you as well. God bless you!