Which is easier to do—protest, or pray?
Which do we resort to first—complain, or cry out to God?
Because sometimes we want to appear super spiritual, we quickly offer up the “I pray” answer to those questions. But think about it. When things are awful, when life really stinks, when nothing seems to be going right, which is easier? And which do we do right out of the gate? We protest and complain:
- “This just isn’t fair!”
- “Why me?”
- “God, don’t You care?”
- “I can never seem to catch a break!”
- “Why can’t something good happen for a change?”
- “I am so fed up with this mess of a life!”
Have you ever been in a situation where everyone around you was complaining, protesting, or just flat out negative? It’s tough not to join them, isn’t it? It’s tough to be positive. It’s tough to convince them that things aren’t that bad or that the circumstances will change if they had hope or faith.
Imagine how Moses felt. Shortly after leading the Israelites safely out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt, the masses started protesting. And when I say masses, I mean million (or maybe even plural). In Exodus 15:22-27, a million people protested, but one man prayed. A million people complained about their circumstances, but one man cried out to the Lord.
One million versus one. Not very good odds, huh?
Whose voice was louder—the million that protested, or the one that prayed? Whose voice ultimately accomplished good—the million that complained, or the one who cried out? It seems crazy to think that in these million-to-one odds, God honored the one. God brought relief to the people. Not because a million of them complained, but because one of them cried out. God met their need. Not because a million of them protested, but because one of them prayed.
In your next difficult situation—when the odds are stacked against you—will you protest or will you pray? In your next challenging circumstance—when the odds are stacked against you—will you complain or will you cry out to God?
If popularity was the issue, I’d bet on the million. But since power is the issue, I’m betting on the one.
(*Note: This post originally appeared on the Clutter Interrupted website on February 8, 2015)