Spanish – English
So very much of our conversation belies our true nature and convictions. We say we love God, we speak of thanking and praising Him when we “are in church” or in a religious setting trying to impress others but let the guard down and listen to the words of our mouths and our hearts. Now these hearts are supposed to be the new ones we received in our “new birth.” With one set of words we proclaim we are new creatures, thankful to God in all things. With another set, we let others know where we really stand. Often, the arm raised in praise has a clenched fist and the lips of thanksgiving conceal gnashing teeth.
Because conditions are never perfect, the spirit of complaint can never be stilled or appeased. Our ceasing to complain cannot hinge therefore on a change in conditions but must come solely by change in spirit and attitude. The source or cause of complaint is never the circumstances but always the subject in same.
At any given time our lives can view from either of two perspectives, positive or negative, like two sides to a coin. Each side truly exists and we are right either way but we become what we behold. Therefore must we decide what to behold.
Isn’t it awful?
Isn’t it hot out?
It’s enough to fry one’s brains!
It’s so dry and dusty….
If only we had a little rain.
You want rain? Plan a picnic!
Where did all these terrible flies come from?
Sure it’s raining…just washed my car!
If it doesn’t rain, it pours!
Is it ever muggy out!
These clouds are so depressing!
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again some other day!
It sure would be nice if
There weren’t all these mosquitoes!
Will that wind never quit?
Isn’t it awful?
Isn’t it awful?
This complaining, that is.
Against whom do you complain?
Who’s in control?
Do you realize?
Isn’t it awful?
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
English - Spanish If youth were so important, would we not have been given the wherewith to embrace and enjoy it? But trials and tribulations come as a flood to deliver us, to teach us, to age us. Aged wine, how good! Green fruit, how unsatisfactory! Yet this green fruit doesn't know. It covets its youth, its strength, its firmness, its expectation of longevity and does not care to be consumed. Yes, it much prefers rather to do the consuming. Youth must be told it is there to be consumed and not to consume, that it must wait for that which to it would seem so repulsive as if waiting for something so desirable. Resisting reality, the young one is consumed and loses himself. Embracing reality, time unveils the beauty of maturity and the once young finds new youth imperishable. Immaturity says: My will, not Thine, be done. I want it, I want it my way, I want it all, I want it now. Immaturity says: I'm old enough, I can do it, I deserve it, It's coming to me. Immaturity is indignant at correction, at instruction and discipline. Immaturity harbors resentment, seeks revenge, a settling of scores much in its favor. It takes only the good, despising the bad, not discerning the difference between the two. Immaturity presumes to know, to know better, to know all, despising knowledge and the paths thereto leading. Wisdom is an alien despised, abhorred; folly is embraced as one's dear life. Yet immaturity ends, whether by maturity or destruct...
Inconsistency and contradiction are facts of life which increase in both stature and clarity as we grow in spiritual maturity. Stature because we are subjected according to our own increasing capacity to withstand these foes and clarity because as we increase, we see more of what has always been there. Is it not ironic that the fool Rejects the very thing that would deliver him From the pain and failure he calls bliss? Water does not always find the lowest level. Is it not ironic that those Who stand in need the most Stand strongest against provision? Water does not always find the lowest level. And those who have less need Have it because they have learned The value of the provision To minimize the need. "To him who has Shall more be given, And to him who has not, Even the little he has Shall be taken from him." Jesus Lethbridge, Oct. 1984
English - Chinese Often and for long periods of time does God hide Himself from His called one, even as He did with all the saints and prophets of old and to the present. We desire so much to walk by sight, as in this world, but must learn to walk by faith, by the little given knowledge of the unknown, the Unknown, that we may know Him. And though He hides Himself to try us, He is always there...there is nowhere one can go from His presence. Yet one can choose to do so, and the one choosing so is not called. Emptiness is not a bad sign in itself as one might suppose. I am ill with sorrow and grief, Vexation and loneliness; My soul is filled with groanings and longings; I look in all directions; I reach out; My hand returns empty; Tears fill my soul; I cry and cry and cry; There is no one to comfort, to console, to ease my pain. Day after day, year after year, Decade after decade, I wait, I long, I cry, I heave and sigh. There is none to understand. I wait for morning; I wait for evening; I am desolate. I eat, I sleep, I cry... Is it sin I say I don't have That causes me to be this way - Desperate, sad, lonely, unfulfilled, Useless, despised, unwanted? This is not the abundant life; Though I have my carnal needs met And freedom to come and go, Yet I have nowhere to come and nowhere to go. All is quiet, uneventful, drab and grey. Do I complain Or do I merely state the way things are For those appointed to such by Divine order, N...