It’s difficult so you want to quit, it’s hard so you don’t want to try anymore, all its doing is frustrating you, it’s getting old and all its doing is continually vexing you, nothing is going to come from it any way, it’s a complete waste of time, and I’m sick and tired of trying. “Ok, are you done whining, can we get back to work now.”
Welcome to the world of the servants of Christ, welcome to those side streets called Whining, Complaining, and Frustrations, the ones just a block or two over from Blessings, Mercy, and Humility, the little neighborhood that all those who serve Christ live in. It is amazing how many born-again believers try to hide their faces as they walk down these side streets, not wanting any to know they are there, feeling as if it somehow wrong to be there, not seeing all the other Christians also traversing these paths. They pass hurriedly by their brother or sister in Christ who is standing at the intersection, asking them if they would like some help carrying that burden, acting within themselves as if they are not there, as if they do not have this “Burden,” the one on the corner is speaking about.
These are not the temptations that are common to us all, (1 Cor. 10:13) this is not the rain falling on the just and unjust, (Matt. 5:45) this is just a normal part of the believers walk, yet we tend to hide our faces in shame when they come upon us, as if it is not normal to want to quit, to want to just give up, “No one is listening anyway, and those who say they are, are just pretending.” Every single born-again believer has been on those side streets of denial more than once in their lives, and nearly every single one of them will deny it when questioned about it. They are burdens they will not share because of shame, the exact same shame that all those who serve Christ know, but few will speak about, it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to share, it makes us feel even more unworthy to be on these side streets, to be in a place that feels completely uncaring about anyone, yet if you will but lift up your head, you will see just how crowded these streets are at times.
Every believer has walked them, and nearly every believer will deny they were ever there, they will lie right to your face for fear of embarrassment, of shame, thinking these streets of “Apathy” and “Little concern” empty save for them. “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9) Still think you are alone, still believe that you are the only one on that side street, that no one has ever been there before, you are the first and only?
The Book of Jeremiah is perhaps one of the finest examples of a man serving God on those side streets, twenty some years and no one is listening, Almighty God is coming in wrath and fury, and no one believes you, you stand on the wall as a watchman appointed, yelling the truths, yet the world goes about its business, mocking and laughing at you as they pass by. These side streets of frustration are far from empty my friends, many of them are crowded thoroughfares, and whether you would like to believe it or not, they are put there on purpose by the Lord God, they are there for a reason. Those who serve Christ and refuse to admit they have ever been there are one thing, it is quite another matter to never seek comfort on these side streets, those avenues of seeming discord in the life of a believer.
Yes, I said comfort, the places many have refused to even admit they have walked in are there for a very specific purpose, they are there intentionally to assist the follower of Jesus Christ. A capped boiling kettle will explode, one never set upon the fire serves no purpose, “Be ye angry, and sin not.” (Eph. 4:26) You are lying to yourself if you say you have never traversed these streets, you are not blessing your brothers and sisters in Christ by allowing them to help you with these burdens when you are there, and if you are not careful and remain in prayer, you will fall into the trap that is so pervasive in the Christian community today, that God is only love, that is the only attribute that the Christian is to portray. “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?” (Matt. 17:17) “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9) Oops, don’t want to talk about that side of Christ do we, don’t want to bring up the Savior who took the time to make a whip, who is coming back in righteous indignation to judge a sinful and disobedient world.
If you do not believe that God Almighty has not walked these side streets, these streets He created, then you do not know the Scriptures very well, or perhaps you just like to gloss over those parts. The lost can really upset us sometimes, they don’t want to hear about His love, and they will not believe that a loving God would cast anyone into eternal damnation. Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are just as frustrating, thinking that attending a one hour a week service fulfills their obligation to their Master, that is not their responsibility to spread the good news of the Scriptures, that the only concern they are to ever have is their own walk with Christ, and to mention any other to anyone would be judgmental.
There is another side street that the servants of God know, those whose hearts are seeking His, those who serve Him as Lord. It is another block over, and its name is Scream. They go there and scream their frustrations to the Lord, they tell Him how they feel as if they are wasting their time, that no one is listening, no one cares, none are responding, it would be best if He would just find someone else to do the work He has set before them. “Are you done? Are you ready to go back to work now?” “Yes Lord, thank you for listening, thank you for making this street.”