Jump Start # 2907
Jump Start # 2907
Psalms 55:17 “Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice.”
For the past six years our congregation has held what we call our “Summer Series.” We invite preachers from all around the country to come and preach one sermon on a Wednesday evening. Our series is themed, based upon one of our hymns. Many of the specific lessons are lines taken directly from the chosen hymn. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful experience. For nine weeks in the summer, a different preacher each Wednesday.
Our theme this year is the old hymn, “How Firm a Foundation.” Great song. The guys this year have been incredible. The topics and the presentations have been amazing. It’s been so good for our people. But just about every year we have done this, something comes up and we have to make an adjustment with one of our speakers. This happened last week. Due to health issue, L.A. Stauffer couldn’t be with us. His topic, from that hymn, was “Even down to my old age I will prove your love.” We had to find a substitute. Not every preacher fits that topic. It’s not right for a young preacher to fill that slot. We called upon our dear Paul Earnhart, who at age 90 came and delivered one of the best sermons ever. His kind and gentle wisdom had young and old listening to every word he said.
As he talked about older Christians, one of the things he said was “Don’t be a critic.” Powerful stuff. Go to our website and listen to that lesson. It’ll help all of us, no matter what your age.
But there is something about getting older that makes some feel that they have the right to be grumpy. And, instead of being a sweet, sweet saint, they turn into a mean, complaining, against everything grump. Now, there may be reasons for that.
First, many older people do not feel well. And, it’s hard to be sweet when you hurt, feel lousy and just never seem to have a good day health wise.
Second, the world is changing fast. It’s hard to survive these days without a smart phone. Technology is blazing fast. And, for many of us, trying to figure out how to turn the TV on with the remote is a major challenge. Churches are using all of this fancy technology with cameras, lights, livestreaming, podcasts and things are not the way they once were. Everything has an app and everything is on line. It’s hard to talk to a real person when you call a business. And, for many older people, this world is moving too fast. They get frustrated. They don’t understand things. And, that makes them grumpy.
Third, our world caters to youth. And, when you are no longer young, it seems that you are in the way. It seems that you are forgotten. Sometimes even our family is just too busy for the older folks. You get the impression that society just wants to stick you in a home and forget about you. Even in the church, it seems that everyone who serves are the younger people. What good is an old person these days? Boy, that’s enough to make one grumpy.
Our verse today is about complaining. Complaining all day long—evening, morning and noon is what the text says. Now, David who wrote this, wasn’t complaining about technology, being too old or those sort of things. He was being oppressed. He says that his soul is among the lions (4). His enemies have dug a pit for him (6). David was being squeezed by the enemy. He was reaching out to God. He was praying to God. He was complaining to God. The walls were closing in and David was needing help.
But that expression, “evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur,” sounds like too many people today. They are not being chased as David was. They are not praying to God. They are gripping to whoever will hear them and often, it’s to those who really do not want to hear them at all. Sour grapes. Bitter hearts. Unhappy. Not content. Things not the way they once were. Things not the way that they want them to be. Put all of that in a pot, stir three times and sprinkle on top a sleepless night and you’ll have complaining that has no end.
Here are a few thoughts to remember:
First, no one likes the sound of complaining. It’s no ones favorite song. Whether it’s a complaining child, co-worker, church member, or spouse, the results are the same. It’s like fingernails going down a chalkboard. And, the whining, nagging, and complaining wears others down. This is why parents too often cave in to a complaining child. They give in just to get the kid to be quiet. That’s not the best parenting skill to have. Complaining isn’t effective, yet we go there. Better would be to come up with some ideas to be part of the solution. Better would be to offer to help fix things. Better would be to find positive ways to make things right.
We remember that God doesn’t like murmuring either. Ancient Israel was crushed because they complained and complained to God while in the wilderness. Nothing to eat. Nothing to drink. This wasn’t right. That wasn’t right. That really upset the Lord. They were not thankful, appreciative nor godly towards the Lord.
Second, we didn’t always do things right when we were younger. We spilled milk, wrecked cars, overslept, forgot homework projects until late at night, lost keys and forgot to let the dog out. Oh we did all of those things. Yep, that’s us. And, our parents complained to us. And, now, here we are complaining about the next generation. Be patient with all is what Paul told the Thessalonians. People are on a journey and give them some space and time and most will do ok. Stop expecting perfection. Realize often there is more than one way to do things, and that may include doing things differently than the way we do them.
Third, getting older doesn’t give you the right nor the permission to be grumpy. For some, that’s how we will be remembered. Some are set to leave this planet miserable and unhappy. And, it seems that their goal in life is to make everyone around them miserable and unhappy. Don’t be that way. Be the one that people love to be around. Be the one that lifts the shades of darkness and brings sunlight into a person’s heart. Don’t let your age be a ticket to be mean. Kindness and gentleness, spoken throughout the N.T. are not qualities only for the young. They are for all of us, including senior saints.
I believe one reason why so many love bro. Earnhart is not just because he can preach like no one else, but out of the pulpit, even at age 90, he is a gentleman who is kind to the core. His wonderful smile warms those who are around him. He is an example of what an older Christian ought to be. He is working until the Lord calls him home.
Do you find yourself complaining more than complimenting? Listen to your self. Are you more miserable than you are happy? Do you justify that because of your age? Is that how the Lord wants you to be? Morning, noon and night—are you a complainer or a blessing?
Sure makes us hit the pause button and think, doesn’t it?