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Do Everything without Complaining - Warrior Mom Wisdom - Week of December 17

Warrior Mom Wisdom Devotional


Do Everything without Complaining

Do Everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like the stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Philippians 2:14-18

I have this particular scripture highlighted with a big star next to it in my Bible. I’ve always been perplexed by it. I’ve complained about something and then remembered that I shouldn’t be complaining, but I never understood how I was actually supposed to do it.  Then, I saw two people do it in the same day, and I was amazed. I was so amazed that I was inspired to try.

I was talking with a lady who told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer. All summer she endured surgery, and chemo treatments, along with court disputes with her abusive ex-husband regarding custody of her son. She sat across from me and said, “I know God will get me through.” Her eyes were very bright, despite her grim circumstances. I knew that God would help her. Somehow I knew that God would spare her. She would beat this cancer thing. I saw hope in her eyes, and the hope was stronger than the cancer, and stronger than her court battles. I was driving home in the rain thinking about how her faith was bigger than the room we were sitting in that day. I thanked God for sending me someone to remind me of His power to deliver from difficult circumstances. Her eyes were so very bright and determined that they fueled my tired heart.

The rain pounded on my car all the way home. It had been raining for two days. I prayed that I’d get home safely. I prayed our house wouldn’t flood. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw my husband outside. Our house had flooded.

Thankfully, the entire house did not flood, but our water heater was underwater, and we were out of hot water for two days. We had torrential down-pours. Roads, cars, and houses were washed away. We received 11 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. My husband was in the pouring rain, digging a ditch around the house; he successfully diverted the water away from the house. It looked like a raging river running down the yard into the road. He took a lawn chair outside to sit in the rain and monitor the water. If he saw a new collection of water, he would stand and start digging again. He did this for countless hours. He also set up a pump under the house and monitored it as it pumped water out from under the house for 9 hours. He came into the garage a few times. At one point, I heard him talking to our kids about how to determine the volume of the water underneath the house by finding the hypotenuse of the triangle of the water. Did that make sense to you? I guess you have to be mathematically inclined to understand all that. I started to think he was actually enjoying himself. He was teaching the children math, and diverting water away from the house simultaneously. What amazed me is he never complained; he just kept working. Around 10 pm that night, he stopped.  I thought for sure he would complain once he came inside. He was covered with mud and he was soaking wet, but to my surprise he opened the door with a big smile on his face.

I was thankful for his smile because the circumstance in and of itself was challenging enough. I was grateful that he was so pleasant to be around in the midst of the mud and the rain. And for the first time, the meaning of that verse hit me. I understood why God doesn’t want us to complain. When we don’t complain, trying circumstances are manageable, bearable, and we can grow and appreciate each other more during them.  When we complain all people see and hear is us, but when we don't complain God's light shines through us.  I sat on the couch with my feet pulled up on the cushions, my arms wrapped around my legs as if hugging them and my chin resting on my knees listening to my husband talk about the details of the ditches he dug, He talked about how it was all working together and how he was thankful that most of the water was out from underneath the house. Then, he began talking aloud about how he was going to fix the water heater, the tools he needed, and what time he was getting up the next day.  There was no hot water so he took a very, very, cold shower. Still, I just sat there amazed. I kept waiting for him to complain; he never did.

I was very humbled. I was speechless with gratitude that God had given me such a pleasant husband. I ran down the hall and got my Bible; I didn’t quite remember where that verse was, and I wanted to read it again.

Do Everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like the stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Philippians 2:14-18

As my husband brushed his teeth and got ready for bed, I thought of him as shining like a star on this earth. I saw how God’s love was exhibited through my husband’s actions that day. I saw how grace and peace abounded amid the mud and the rain simply because my husband did not complain.

It’s the day after the rain. It’s the day after I had that conversation with that precious lady of faith. I remain humbled. I am also highly motivated to actually ask God to help me do what that verse says. In the past, I read that verse and said, “Yeah, right; I’m not God.” I guess I thought I was supposed to figure out how to do things without complaining all by myself, which is why I always got stumped and started complaining instead. The problem is that every time I looked at my circumstances, I decided that they were full of valid difficulties to complain about.  If I thought about my childhood, yep, that was worth complaining about. If I thought about my son’s disabilities, yep, again, they were valid things to complain about. But now, I read that verse with a new set of eyes. I read those words through eyes of faith that saw the light of God shine through two very humble, non-complaining people in the midst of a torrential storm.

Do Everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like the stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Philippians 2:14-18

As I reflect upon my friend and my husband, I am drawn to their humbleness. They are lovely, wonderful, faith-filled, steadfast soldiers of God. I now know that when we stop complaining, God shines through us, and the light He exhibits in us is attractive to all who see it. It's a wonderful, mysterious, warm, graceful light of hope, abounding in humbleness. It is this humbleness that overpowers the hardship around us, and it is then, in our weakness, that God is truly, truly glorified. 

WMU!

Love,
Kristina

The Warrior Mom Ministry was founded by Kristina Seymour, author of The Warrior Mom Handbook – Equipping Women through the Word, a Bible study for moms who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. Kristina has learned that moms can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about The Warrior Mom Handbook, the Warrior Mom Ministry, and to sign up for daily encouragement, visit, www.warriormoms.net.