I admit it. I’ve been guilty of it. Complaining to God about what he is or isn’t doing. As if he isn’t aware of the situation or as if I know better how to handle it than he does. God forgive me.
But thank God for his patience and longsuffering. He wants us to approach him with questions and concerns. He desires for us to reason with him, but in a humble, sincere way without arrogance. The cool thing is, even if we step to him the wrong way, he is gracious, merciful, and loving enough to correct us and gives us the opportunity to apologize–always willing to forgive us because of the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. That’s why he commands us in Hebrews 4:16 to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
1 Peter 5:7 says we can cast all our cares on the Lord because he cares for us. A lot of times we take this to mean we can pray to God and push the situation out of our mind to let him take care of it. And we’re right to take it that way. But it doesn’t negate the fact that in certain situations God allows us the freedom to ask him for some of the details included in how he will work it out. In fact, I think there are plenty of times God really wants us to ask him, but we’re afraid that it might be perceived as us doubting him when it isn’t. He knows we need some comforting and encouragement sometimes.
Isaiah gives us some practical words from the Lord at a time when he responded to Israel’s rebellion as they complained about him. His response was simply, “Instead of complaining and mumbling about how I’m handling things, all you had to do was humbly ask me and I would’ve told you what I was doing and why. After all, I’m the one who created you, the earth, and the heavens so, of course, I’m still at work in what goes on around you.” Here’s what he said in his own words from Isaiah 45:8-13:
8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city…
This is why God still works through prophecy within the general parameters of his completed word. Stop complaining. Start asking. But make sure you’re not asking amiss to “consume it upon your lusts,” (James 4:3) because God won’t answer you if that’s your motivation. Did you know it’s even considered an honor for us as a nation of kings and priests to search out what God is up to? (See Proverbs 25:2)
And as a side note, I had an interesting dream the other night as I look at all the signs of the times and how God is at work. In my dream I saw a huge bulky, fortress-like rectangular skyscraper in a dark city. This skyscraper was lit up with marvelous light shining from its penthouse on all sides like a lighthouse over the city. But then the light slowly faded until it went out completely. The skyscraper became a fading ruin and so did the city around it.
Harry A. Gaylord