The complaints Department

Complaints Department

I would hate to have to work in a complaints department. I once had to work at the (internal) help desk at a major software company and hated it. That was as close to dealing with constant complaints as I could handle.  I’m not great at listening to people’s complaints.

However it seems like God doesn’t mind it. In Gen 15:1-8 we read a story about God and Abraham. God starts by telling Abraham his reward will be very great. Abraham isn’t too impressed by this. The one thing he wants – an heir – he doesn’t have. He complains about it. He blames God (‘you haven’t given me an heir’).

Still God responds with encouragement. ‘You descendants will be like the stars in the sky – uncountable!’ Abraham responds with belief but still complains, ‘How will I know?’ God responds again with grace and encouragement.

This story, as well as others like the story of Job, says to me that God is happy to hear our complaints. He wants to see some faithful response but responds to the questions and doubts with encouragement.

This idea does help me feel free to ‘dump on God’ and fire away with the complaints. I suspect it is more helpful than letting loose on all my friends. Especially when I’m questioning, ‘How is this going to happen?’ or ‘How do I know God will be faithful here?’

It also makes me question how I can be more God-like to my friends who are facing doubts and complaints. How can I respond with encouragement and faith?


2 thoughts on “The complaints Department

  1. That’s my custom: when I have deep complaints, I pour them out on God. Better to let him handle them since only he has the power to resolve most of them. Complaining to God is more faith than pining with friends.

    • I like Michael’s response too. It is so difficult to teach people they can complain to God when they have a relationship with Him. It’s a normal part of life. Like a developing child who feels trust in a parent, also feels able to question an instruction without thinking you will be hammered. It’s the followers who never really trusted, and who were never willing to go ahead without threatening even when once reassured by God, who finally lost their opportunity to see that God really had it all in hand. Life is very unfair and frightening at times, but best to keep holding God’s hand while we walk through those moments.

Thanks for reading. What do you think? Do these questions relate to you? How?

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