Do You Only See the Rain?

Get that frown off your face put a smile in its place, let the love of Jesus Christ show through. This is the song I sing to my kids when they are being grumpy about getting their hair brushed, their faces washed, or being grumpy about life in general.

Today it was a song I sang in my heart to remind me to quit grumbling. I am in a small community in the Dominican Republic this week on a mission trip and I’ve been a bit of a complainer. The floors aren’t clean in the dorm room, the waste baskets by the toilet are overflowing with our USED toilet paper (can’t flush the TP in the DR), I have felt unsafe a couple of times, I feel dirty and stinky, etc.

What a diva I am being, I’m in a third world country, not the Ritz. Yesterday an urge to read James overcame me. One thing I love about the Word of God is it is living. Reading something today, that I read five years ago, could impact me completely differently today.

Typically I love James because it is a book of wisdom, it’s the Proverbs of the New Testament, and most famously known for the “grace without works is dead” line (James 2:7). It’s why I come to the Dominican, to live out my faith.

This time James spoke to me about being humble and controlling my tongue. I needed that refresher. Why should I complain and expect the trash cans to be emptied or the floors to be swept by someone else. I should rejoice in having the opportunity in doing lowly jobs. Jesus washed his disciples’ dirty feet. Who do I think I am?

I am here in the Dominican this week to serve but I wanted to serve on my terms and to serve only the people of the Dominican. I missed an opportunity to serve our team by grumbling about the situation instead of doing something about it. It’s one of the 5099 things about myself I need to work on … looking for the opportunities in circumstances instead of the reasons to complain.

Do you grumble and complain? Do you only see the rain? Then thank God my friend that you can see. Dry your eyes, clear your sight. Look to the left, look to the right. You’re really in good company.  

Written by Karen Culbertson

Wife, mom and licensed mental health counselor.

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