Over the last few weeks I’ve talked to lots of people about their lives. A common thread runs through virtually every conversation–dissatisfaction.

The list is almost endless. Dissatisfied with their spouse, their marriage, their work, our church, having to make an effort to do something, having to make an extra 10 minute trip in the car, not getting provolone cheese on their Togo sandwich, getting a “Grande” (medium) instead of a “Venti” (large) at Starbucks. The attitude that comes through is similar to one you’d expect to hear from 4 year olds that didn’t get a balloon after spending 10 hours at Disneyland.

Some of the conversations have an unstated undercurrent of “What’s wrong with God” theme.

The list sometimes get a little personal. I’ve had very good friends of mine complain about our couch, the lighting in our house, two steps on our front porch, our dog, what I eat for lunch, brown bag for dinner, or the particular diet I’m on, and that our fountain at home is too loud. These examples are neither isolated incidents nor one-time occurances.

The prophet Jeremiah had a very tough assignment: speaking to people who refused to listen. Jeremiah was prone, like all of us, to complain like 4 year olds at Disneyland. Jeremiah 12:1-4 are Jeremiah’s complaints to God about God. “God, you aren’t being fair!”

God’s response to Jeremiah was a wake-up call.

Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot and THEY have worn you out, how will you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

It’s as if God says, “Get some perspective!” If you have trouble responding to the wrong order at a restaurant, the eating habits of a friend, or dealing with someone who is five minutes late, how in the world will you deal with big problems?

God uses the next eight verses to specify that BIG problems ARE on the way. Maybe that is what it takes to break us of our 4 year old mentality to complain about trivial matters.

One day Mindy and I will print up business cards. On the front side will be with words, “Find a Real Problem.” Under that phrase will be the words, “Please Turn Over.”

On the back will be the words, “This is Not One of Them.”

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