Do you ever just want to complain? Go on a rant?
Yes, I know God is good all the time, but I’m not always happy with what He’s allowing me to go through. So, I complain. Maybe you feel the same way sometimes. Well, we’re not alone.
Jeremiah was known as “the weeping prophet,” because he watched as God’s people ignored his warnings and plunged deeper and deeper into disobedience and despair. Jeremiah had a tough job, and occasionally when he prayed to the Lord, he went on some brutally (and beautifully) honest rants.
Jeremiah knew God is good and knew the LORD had protected him miraculously, but Jeremiah was also frustrated with how hard it had been for him. He had been humiliated in the eyes of his people, he had been misunderstood, and had made enemies of people he cared about.
At times, Jeremiah’s prayers swung back and forth between anger and rejoicing. It was as if he was arguing with himself. He hated the struggles but knew God is faithful. He was grateful for God’s protection but was sick and tired of suffering. Sometimes, his attitude shift was so abrupt that it was almost funny:
Sing to the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
For though I was poor and needy,
he rescued me from my oppressors.
Yet I curse the day I was born!
May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
(Jeremiah 20:13-14, NLT)
I find it heartening to know that I’m not alone. I’ve had similar conversations with God. I love Him and know that I can trust Him, I know that He knows what’s best for me, but I sometimes want to complain. I want to pour out my heart and go on a rant about how things aren’t going my way.
Seeing Jeremiah do the same thing reminds me that God can handle it. Come to think of it, if I can’t be honest with God, who can I be honest with? He offers me a powerful shoulder to cry on, therapy that lets me get it all out. And, if I listen, He also offers me gentle reassurance that He is indeed in control and that His love for me is far bigger than any of my frustrations.