The Whiner Line

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I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn
– Psalm 142:1-3

Several years ago a local radio talk show host had a popular Friday afternoon segment devoted to chronic complainers. It was called, “The Whiner Line.” The word whiner means, “to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way.” You get the picture! You could have called it “Woe, Is Me!” He invited people to call in and complain about anything they didn’t like and boy, did they ever. I’ve never heard such a collection of cry babies, grumblers, moaners, naggers, soreheads, and squawkers in all my life!

But while listening one Friday afternoon and complimenting myself on my superiority over these bellyaching mortals, I began to wonder about how my complaints must sound like to God? Now I usually manage to thank God somewhere in my daily prayers but it doesn’t take me very long to start on my own list of gripes, complaints, problems, failed expectations, disappointments, weaknesses (mostly of others), and reminders about prayer promises that haven’t arrived yet (as if He needs reminding).

Of course, I pray for all of my many needs, commingled with all of my many wants. To be honest though, I wonder if I sound like I’m on God’s “Whiner Line,” every time I pray? I’m curious about what He thinks? Does He just tune me out like I do my radio, by turning it off?

I don’t think so. According to David in Psalm 142, it appears that our Lord actually invented “The Whiner Line” for His kids. In fact, the King of Israel at the time used it on a regular basis. We know his many laments as, “The Psalms.”

Evidently, God doesn’t mind hearing our complaints or hearing about our troubles. He doesn’t mind our constant cries for mercy, vindication and justice. He doesn’t shy away from our human spirit when it is faint and weak (and even misguided). He even invites us to moan and groan. In fact, I believe God is more than delighted to hear from us, even when we grumble, than not hearing from us at all.

So, as for me, God’s going to keep hearing my complaints. So what if I’m a whiner? I’m not telling Him anything He doesn’t already know—and He still loves me! It’s called Grace. — Maranatha! 

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