Want some Cheese with that Whine?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.

James 1:2-9

New International Version (NIV) (Emphasis mine)

Oh darn, you say. She started this blog post with scripture. The verses are not even feel-good Bible verses like that verse Tim Tebow plasters on his face before the game or what you might see shared on social media these days. It’s hard scripture. Bleh, you say.

I feel your pain; I really do. Trust me when I say that scripture like this at a time like this is not exactly candy in my mouth. It tastes more like the english peas my mother would force me to eat at a young age, the same peas that brought tears of fury to my eyes the moment I swallowed them whole.

Why are you so unfeeling?” my 5-year-old mind would cry. “Don’t you realize how much I don’t want this?” 

However, instead of saying this out loud at the dinner table, my frustration would only be heard in the form of whimpers, groans, snarling and gnashing of baby teeth.

“Want some cheese with that whine?” my father would ask me, grinning. 

Side note: Adults who make references to alcoholic beverages when dealing with unruly children should not expect said children to laugh at their cleverness.

Whining is a verb often characterized by small children choking down vegetables or lazy teenagers unexposed to the demands of living in the real world. It is hardly identified as an adult trait. Grown men and women do not whine. They are put in difficult situations which call for heavy discussion and serious complaints concerning the origins of these situations. They do not whine.

If you did not catch on to the sarcasm, please note that whining happens to the best of us.

Blog confessional #3: I throw myself pity parties for the purpose of letting myself whine.

I justify the parties. I lay out all the reasons why I am deserving of such as party:

My classes stress me to pieces.

I have no one to confide in. 

I am alone.

I don’t look like her. 

I’m not as popular as him.

My past still haunts me, and I won’t let it go.

My future is a mystery, and I need to know it now!

These parties offers no refreshments or party favors to invited guests. No decorations are on display. Only a few guests ever come to my pity parties. They are usually the ones who love me unconditionally and are equipped with divine levels of patience.

Even they choose to leave before the party is over. I don’t blame them. I throw awful parties.

However, one guest remains at all my pity parties. This guest hangs around in the shadows, waiting for all the other guests to leave. He is never invited. Quite frankly, He can be a real pity party pooper.

The Guest makes His way to where I sit with my arms folded and list of complaints before me. He slowly kneels down to get at eye level with me before addressing me with His soft voice.

“Valerie, what’s wrong?” He asks, as if He doesn’t already know.

What’s WRONG? Have you not seen the list?

“Valerie…

Do you want some cheese with that whine?”

The nerve of God is sometimes greater than I can stand. Then again, one nerve pulse of God is greater than a million bolts of lightening.

Here’s the bottom line regarding whining in our present circumstances:

We are doing the opposite of what was intended for us to do. We whine when we should be rejoicing. We throw a tantrum when we should be growing in maturity. And when we don’t understand, we should be asking God for wisdom to understand rather than trying to understand on our own.

Often times, if we can even get to the point where we turn to God in our frustration, we don’t receive any clarity because we choose not to believe what He has to say.

God does not just allow trials into our lives on accident.
God purposefully interweaves trials and His will for the purpose of building our faith and maturity.
He wants us to grow up in Him and experience the abundant life He has for us, which requires unwavering belief in His sovereignty.
Furthermore, when our given circumstances require an extra dose of humility to swallow, we as believers are supposed to be proud that we have the opportunity to lower our pride.

Wait. What?

As if we did not have enough oxymorons to grasp thanks to the Bible, we now have to view the times that we turn the other cheek, step down from our pedestal, let others say what they want about us without a defense, fail miserably and see ourselves as the imperfect humans that we really are as moments to be proud of.

Why?

When we are humbled because of our situations, we are elevated to a place closer to God.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10

New International Version (NIV)

Oh wow, you say. She ended this blog post with scripture. The verse is even a feel-good Bible verse like that verse Tim Tebow plasters on his face before the game or what you might see shared on social media these days. It’s easy scripture. Thank God, you say.

The Guest who stays until the end of all my pity parties and asks if I want some cheese with my whine always lifts me up when I am finally humbled. He humbles me by revealing His Identity and His unchanging love for me even as I whine.

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One comment

  1. Karen Hansford Webb · October 26, 2012

    Wow, Valerie, I had no idea you were such a talented writer! Love your thoughts/comments on this blog (10/15/12). You express yourself so well and I find myself nodding in agreement with everything you say. Keep up the good work!

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