For a few glorious months at the end of 2011, I hardly ever complained. I had endured several months of treatment for a rare cancer and had just been declared cancer free. I didn’t know how many healthy days I would have with my young family before the cancer returned, and I was determined to squeeze as much joy out of each day as I could.
To put it bluntly, my lack of complaining came from the realization that, statistically speaking, I should have been dead. I’d been given the gift of life, and gratefulness overflowed.
But it didn’t take long for me to forget what I’d been given. I fell back into old habits of grumbling, just like the Israelites in the desert who stood in awe of God’s power at the Red Sea but didn’t trust Him to provide drinking water (Ex. 14–15). Although I’d seen the Lord’s faithfulness through the deep waters of suffering, I forgot His goodness in the smallest puddles of my day, such as gloomy weather or a slow-moving line at the coffee shop.
When we encounter the minor frustrations and inconveniences of daily life, we have a choice to make: gratitude or grumbling. As we strive for gratitude, we need to recognize the sinfulness of our grumbling, examine the heart attitudes beneath it, and discover its remedy in the gospel.
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