You Are My Shepard, I Shall Not Bleat

The Lord Is My Shepard, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me  beside the still waters.  Psalm 23:1-2

My first verbalization this morning was, “That was an awful sleep, and everything hurts.” Oy yoy yoy. I had been awake for a half hour and had said good morning to God and sent up prayers, and it was an awful sleep and everything did hurt; but is that how I should start the day? With whining and complaining?

A comedian recently vented on American’s complaining. I’ll paraphrase: Can you imagine the unmitigated gall? Huffing and puffing because your Smart Phone is not responding fast enough? For cryin’ out loud, the thing is beaming up to a satellite in outer space, give it a second will ya?

It’ so true. Where are we? We are cut adrift in a sea of gadgets that simplify our lives so that we barely have to lift an eye brow. And still we complain.

We have robotic vacuums now; no more hauling rugs outside and beating them with a stick.  Remote controls for television watching, no more getting up and walking four steps across the room to change channels. Our cars are equipped with Onstar GPS  you couldn’t get lost if you wanted to.

A world of information available at our finger tips in seconds. I remember actually counting the ten whole torturous seconds while waiting for a payroll page to load on my pc at work. TEN WHOLE RIDICULOUS SECONDS-jeepers ADP, could ya speed it up a little??!!

Hey! How about instant hot water? Remember when folks had  to fell a tree and chop wood and haul it to the dooryard to start a fire to heat water they had to pump to make lousy pot of coffee?  Or when visiting  meant hooking a horse up to a wagon and setting out several days in advance? Or having to leave abruptly to head home to milk cows so they didn’t get sick and die? How about rambling through the woods to luck upon blueberries to make a rare treat?

We are very spoiled. And still we complain. That comedian has made an entire career complaining about Americans complaining. It’s sublime. Sure we have problems. Sure we have aches and pains and bills and dirty laundry. Yes we have illness and dread and heart ache. But we also have this very moment with our God. It’s true and palpable and sustaining and its what counts the most. The right here and now, where you are okay and safe and breathing.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory    II Corinthians 4:17

Imagine having the illness, the heartache and the dread and living in a crummy dirt floor house made of rusty tin and a hurricane on its way that you don’t even know about. While you boil old tubers for your one meal a day. And what you can’t imagine is that the military coup going on ten miles away will spill over into your village and you’ll have machine gun toting soldiers to host for dinner tomorrow during the storm.

Imagine the illness the heartache the dread and you’ve never seen a doctor or dentist or dry cleaner or the inside of a grocery store or a church for that matter.

The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want. Jesus died on the cross for us. What more do we need? He conquered death for you and me. Is there really anything else you could want? A 52″ flat screen tv? Would that do it?

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Romans 8:18

The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want……to complain anymore. All this head shaking eye rolling dramatics are frankly quite a lot of work, not to mention demoralizing.  I for one am putting a moratorium on complaining. No more murmuring and grumbling. No more scowling and leveling the paralyzing look of disdain.

God knows what I need. The Holy Spirit is with us always, working in our hearts, He will help us ask God for exactly what we need. Like gratitude for the passing affliction that builds our faith. Heaps of love for the spilled milk and dirty dishes and the hot water with which to wash them. Tenderness for the raindrops and the in-laws and laugh lines.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.    Romans 8:26-27

Father God?

Could you help me get through one minute with out complaining? Uhm……. and in this an election year? Help me God. Help me tame the snarky comebacks and impatient brow raising demands. Only peace and gratitude for all you have given me and all you continue to bestow.

Help me to be ever mindful of your precious gifts of mercy and grace.


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