Glorious Grumbling

I know myself well enough to do what I did in the last post: to offer a question and sort of imply I’ll answer it soon. Well, a month later, here I am. Though, I must say, the commenters, I believe answered the question well for me.

Tim wrote: “What is a fair definition of “grumbling”? If it’s a spirit of complaining and finding fault, then I would lean toward sayinig grumbling is sinful. If it is wrestling with difficulties and giving voice to those frustrations while acknowledging complete reliance on God in all circumstances, then I’d say not. But how do you mean the word to be understood, Caryn?”

I say: Exactly. When grumbling is a spirit–a lifestyle–of complaining and finding fault and seeing the bad in everything, yes, sin. When it’s a tone of voice, a giving voice to disappointments, fears, frustrations laid before God while acknowledging that reliance, that’s potentially holy territory. That’s the grumbling I mean. That’s what I think maybe Jesus did.

Lynnette offered two definitions of to grumble:

1. to utter (complaints) in a nagging or discontented way
2. ( intr ) to make low dull rumbling sounds

Then she wrote: “Jesus never grumbled if you use definition #1. I certainly can imagine Jesus grumbling as definition #2 before He cleansed the temple, as He encountered Pharisees who refused to see the Truth, and even in the garden as He prepared for what was to come.

“I can say with certainty that Jesus never grumbled as definition #1.

“Between the two definitions there is a fine line and a vast difference.”

I say: Yes! Fine line and vast difference. Love that. Again, the grumbling of which I speak is more sound, more ache, more growl from the heart and soul than a life of being one who shuffles around every day looking for the bad in the world, never seeing the God or acknowledging the God behind it all.

Let’s leave off with a lovely grumble from the Psalms: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”–Psalm 51:17


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