Friday, October 23, 2009

On Whining

I say the words approximately forty-seven times each day.

Don’t whine. Use your words.”

About forty-six of those times, the word that follows is the same: “Help.”

Sometimes I say the words cheerfully, with patience. Sometimes they come out sternly, with a hint of irritation. Sometimes they rise to top volume, my yelling no more mature than my two-year-old’s whining. But when I hear that word—“help”—I drop what I’m doing and figure out what Elijah needs. “Help with what?”

Usually it’s something exceedingly simple for me to do—open a bag of blocks, or pull a toy off a high shelf. I might remind my son: “There’s no need to whine. Whining drives Mama crazy. Just use your words. Just tell me what you need.”

It occurred to me yet again today how much more alike we are than different, my toddler and I.

I have a Father who delights in helping me. He knows how helpless I am, how easily I become frustrated. All it takes is one simple plea: “Lord, help me!” Yet most of the time I grumble, or fume silently about my circumstances. It may not be as audibly grating as my son’s whining, but it’s all the more obnoxious for the knowledge I have that Elijah lacks.

I have a Father who delights in helping me.
He is astoundingly patient; He hears my every cry. And the things that cause me such frustration, such anxiety and turmoil, are exceedingly simple for Him to handle. He loves for me to cry out to Him—not with bitter complaints, but with faith-filled pleas, trusting Him to help me.

Next time I tell my toddler, I think I’ll remind myself: “Don’t whine. Use your words.”


Tom Gabbard said...

A great reminder of our Lord's faithfulness with regards to our every need and the scriptural exhortation that tells us to cast all our cares upon him, for he careth for you!

Kevin Thomas said...

Perhaps though it is good to "whine" in prayer or words as a form of pressure release. If we live our lives within a perfect guide line, and don't allow ourselves some form of release through either prayer, meditation, spoken words and even physical exercise then we could be human tea kettles...without the whistle release. We all are humans and some of us chose to be Christians (Christ Like) We will never be "perfect" but we chose to move towards that goal.

Amy said...

in such a short post, Kevin, I'm sure I wasn't completely clear. I'm not advocating "living within a perfect guideline" or never expressing frustration or disappointment or whatever. I'm just saying, I need/want to move from inner monologue about my circumstances to dialogue with the living God who cares for my every need. rather than whining/grumbling to myself, just internally thinking, "I hate this, this sucks", I want to cry out to Him for help and perspective. does that make more sense?