The Devil Is In the Details


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“You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger.  You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst, and You told them to enter in order to possess the land which You swore to give to them.”  Nehemiah 9:15

As you’ve no doubt figured out, if you have read this blog for any amount of time, I’ve so fallen into the trap of complaining.


I’d like to justify it by saying I’ve a lot to complain about right now, but I can almost see God smiling ruefully at me as He shakes His head.  


“Uh, deni?” I seem to hear Him say.


“No.  Just, no,” as He points to the sign on the wall which states in bog, bold letters: THIS IS A COMPLAIN-FREE ZONE.  VIOLATORS WILL BE GIVEN SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT.


Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit.  Well … a lot.  But isn’t that one of the hallmarks of complainers?  We do tend to go a teensy bit overboard.


Or, at least I know I do.  And, once I’m on a roll?  Well, let’s just say even I find it hard to be around me.  And once I do start, it is oh-so-hard to stop.


I used to wonder why the Israelites were such a grumbly crowd when they had the God of the universe leading them.  Now, I relate far too easily.


And as that same God of the universe guides me and convicts me, I ask for solutions.  


"How do I stop complaining,” I ask Him.  “No matter where I look, something seems wrong.  Isn’t that complaint worthy?”


He points to my ever-expanding, bright pink gratitude journal and eyes me dubiously.


“Everywhere you look?”


(There is that exaggerating thing again, I think.)


My eyes drift toward the bright sunlight streaming through the patio door.  The I look down, ashamed to meet His ever-so-compassionate gaze.


“But how do I stop?” I whisper.  “I try not to.  But, the words seem to just tumble out.”


“You do have options, you know.  But you will never be successful in your own attempts.”


(That much I had figured out!)


But, after praying and asking for guidance, I do see options.  They seem too simple.


“What if, instead of complaining about what isn’t being done, you ask for help.  Reword how you say things.  Instead of complaining about something that needs to be done, you ask someone to help you with it.  Family.  Church.  There’s always someone, if you look.  Ask nicely.  With a smile if you can muster it.  


"And what if you put it in perspective? In 10 years will it matter if  (fill in the blank), never gets done?


“But,” I try to justify myself (and a quick clue here, it doesn’t work with God.  Trust me on that one.) “Sometimes, no one listens.  And sometimes, there is no one to ask.”


“No one?”


I gulp, realizing what I just said and to whom I just said it.


“Well,” I amend my statement quickly.  “No one but You.”  


(That still doesn’t sound too good, does it?)


“And, do you ask Me?  Before you even go to anyone else?  Before you complain?


Truth?  No.  I don’t.  Or if I do, I mumble a quick prayer and then complain.


I figure it’s time to change things up.


I remember a saying of my dad’s.


“The devil is in the details.”


Perhaps that is truer that I realized.


The devil may very well be in the details, if we’ve neglected to invite God into them.


Because, that is the well-spring of many of my complaints.  


The details.  The how, and when, and who of it all.


And, once again, I realize how the enemy takes advantage of that.


My new simple solution?


Before I complain, ask for help.


Ask God to do one of the things that Jehovah-Jirah does best.


Provide.


Because He, and He alone knows exactly what we need.





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