The word complain seems to carry with it a negative connotation. Your spouse’s complaints about you leaving your dishes on the counter are perceived as nagging. Your sibling’s complaint about you always taking his or her stuff is tattling. Your friend’s complaint about you drinking too much is judgement. Your complaints about the house rules your parents set for you are whining.
The Israelites are upset at Moses and Aaron because they have nothing to eat. Unlike us, where our complaints are often met with criticism, God’s people’s complaints are met with action. God listens to their complaints and gives them food to eat.
How often do you listen to one’s complaints without offering your constructive criticism? How often do people hear your complaints without criticizing them?
Complaining is sometimes a good thing, especially when one of our needs isn’t being met. Babies complain when they are hungry, sleepy, lonely or need a change. Our babies are not nagging us, or tattling on us, or judging us, or even whining. Our babies are asking us for help. God loves us and wants to help us. Don’t be afraid to complain once in a while. Who knows, maybe your complaints will be answered.
Caring God, give us a voice and help us trust that we can bring our complaints to you. Amen. — WHB