"The tests prove you have myasthenia gravis," the doctor said. I'd never heard of the disease, a rare, autoimmune disorder that causes weakening of the muscles. It had been less than two years since my diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and my marital separation. I felt overwhelmed, disappointed, and thought, Where is God?
I blamed God for all my problems and felt he was withholding prosperity from me. I complained about everything from not having enough time to the cost of gas. Criticism became part of my everyday language.
No one seemed to have the same challenges as me, which added to my crankiness. One day I phoned a friend and grumbled about the latest things I thought were wrong in my life.
After I rambled on for several minutes in pity, she said, "You need to learn how to keep your mouth shut."
How could she say this to me? I thought. She obviously doesn't understand what I'm going through. If she had the same problems as me, she'd complain too.
Those Grumbling Israelites
My anger and complaints toward my friend grew, until one day when I was studying the Israelites' journey through the desert. And it hit me. They complained for 40 years and never saw the Promised Land. Although God had performed many miracles in the wilderness, they refused to trust him.
As I pondered the Israelites' experience, I realized my complaints weren't only negative words, they were grumblings against God. He's much bigger than any problem I face, and in his strength I can overcome anything. When we complain, it lets God know we don't trust him. As with the manna and quail, I was graciously given the necessities in life. After all, I had a job, food, and clothing, but I was too busy looking at the bigger problems.1