Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”
– Philippians 2:14-15
Do you remember when your oldest child started dating? I remember when ours did. We read every book James Dobson ever wrote, and I listened to Focus on the Family every morning at 9:00 a.m. Mike and I discussed how we planned to handle it all. We armed ourselves with tactics and measures to get rid of whoever might not be suitable for alone time with our baby girl. If they want to go to the movie, we’ll grill them on what it’s about. If they want to stay out until 12:30, we’ll say, “Nope. In by 12:00 – nothing good happens after midnight.” If we think he’s not the right kind of guy, we’ll nip the whole thing in the bud by simply telling her she can’t go out with him again. Easy. Peezy.
I knew we were in for more than we had bargained, though, when it all started to actually occur! One day a boy came over after school and wanted to take our sweet thing somewhere in his car. Mike wasn’t home. Should I say yes? Should I say no? It’s broad daylight. Maybe it’s ok, I thought.
As I was formulating my answer, the young man said, “Don’t worry! Iz all good, Mrs. McDearmon!”
Ugh. Somehow in that moment, I pretty much knew we had a lot to “look forward to,” that there were going to be lots of arbitrary decisions to make that we couldn’t possibly have analyzed ahead of time, and – that on many days, parenting teenagers would be fun, but I feared in my mom’s heart of hearts, that in other ways, “iz all good” was a thing of the past. My baby was growing up. No more keeping her in the nest. Her little birdy wings were beginning to rustle in the breeze.
Mike has been doing a Tuesday morning Bible study with a group of men on this topic of grumbling and complaining. As we’ve discussed it together, I’ve remembered a few times in my life when I grumbled long and hard to friends, to my husband and to God, i.e., the teenage years.
On the other side of it all, I look back and see how God worked it all out! We got through it, and we still have JOY and PEACE.
If we, as believers in the God who works all things for our good, would live lives where we did no other good thing but speak without grumbling, what would the world see? Oh, the thought! The discontented would see us content. The hurting would see us at peace. The hopeless would see hope in us. How? Because a picture speaks a thousand words.
(photo courtesy of Joel Christopherson@tjoelchris)
So, this week, election week, I’m challenging myself to do everything:
go to work, talk to friends, buy groceries, listen to the news
without complaining or arguing:
speaking out of the peace and joy I have in Jesus
that I might be a shining star:
lighting up the darkness like the Milky Way!
After all, because of Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11 – it really Iz All Good, Mrs. McDearmon.
Encouraging intentional adventure and peace-filled words,
PS – For more from the author of Mike’s Bible study, click here.