But I say, love your enemies!Pray for those who persecute you! Matthew 5:44 NLT
This morning Deandra who writes Imago Dei on WordPress got me thinking about the issue of complaining. (I have done more than my fair share) and how it affects our lives and my initial comment on her blog led me to an entire post. So thank you Deandra and here is my story of hope for complainers like me. The link to her post is here…
Back when I worked as an apprentice landscaper I had a boss named Al who specialized in making me crazy. When I struggled making a straight line on the edge of a flower bed he’d say, “That looks like a dog’s breakfast!” Or he’d take a look at the bush I had just trimmed, snatch the tool from my hand and re-trim it then give the tool back and ask; “What are you Polish?”
One night when I was bringing my complaint session about Al home to my wife, God began to convict my heart that I needed to be praying instead of griping. Even though I wasn’t a bit excited about the idea I knew it was the right thing to do. So I began with short prayers like, “Bless Al and his family.” Now it would be great to say that immediately things got better; but the reality was that at first I just didn’t get so mad about his remarks. Also my own attitude started changing and I began to try harder to improve my work.
The best day happened some months later when just Al and I were working together on a job out in the country. At noon Al glanced at his watch and said “Go ahead and take lunch. I’m just going to keep working.” So I sat down on a big rock and opened my lunch pail and saw an entire loaf of my wife’s home made zucchini bread. “Hey Al, don’t you have anything to eat?” I asked. “Don’t worry I‘ll get something later.” “Hey, at least take five minutes and try some of my wife’s home made zucchini bread.” I insisted. It didn’t take much to convince him to sit down and try a sample. “Wow! That’s amazing!” he mumbled between bites as I shared my extra bottle of water with him to wash it down. My life wasn’t perfect after that lunch, but breaking bread with Al gave me hope. I had hope because I saw that God cares about changing tough circumstances and difficult people. I knew it- because he changed me. Now that’s a landscape of hope!