God, hear my voice when I complain.
Did you know that complaining to God is good? You might think complaining is bad, as in saying, “stop complaining”, to someone. You might think that complaining to God is sinful, that it is wrong to complain.
It is a huge insight to get, that God wants to hear your complaint. It would actually be strange if God said he did not want to hear our complaints and had a ‘no complaining’ policy. It is a mistake and a missed opportunity when we do not go to God with our complaints.
Complaining goes hand in hand with lamenting. Lament means grieve, mourn, and sadness. God wants to hear our heart, whatever it’s state. Turn to God with your complaints and lament.
When we complain, we tell God the problem. David wrote a song that starts off with, “God hear my voice when I complain”, and his problem was the terror, the dread, the threat, and the fear of the enemy. When we are under attack, we don’t go into denial, but call out to God; in song, in worship.
We say to God that this is happening, I hurt a lot about this, and I am deeply grieved about this; and we might request God’s help or intervention. Then, we tell God that we praise and worship him no matter what. We go into intimacy (into-me-see) with God, being honest and sharing what is in our heart.
Out of that interaction, we worship. Worship is putting God above everything. When we air our complaint or express our lament, we come to God with our problems or needs and are completely transparent about our pain; and then put God and his love above it all.
We bring our red wagon of requests, trouble, or grief with us to the throne and worship.
The mistake is to say, “I am in so much pain or in so much trouble or need, that I just can not worship”. That thought mistakes worship only with happy times, happy feelings. Worship is not just praising God for the good, but also saying “though” and “yet”: “Though I have these bad things and I ask you for help with them”, or, “Though I am in mourning, grief, or very painful circumstances, yet I will worship you”.
Another thing is that complaining is different from criticizing or judging. Criticizing or judging God is wrong, is sin. Complaining about your situation is completely different.
Complaining is transparent, honest, and humble. We hurt or experience injustice, we have a problem like threats or terror or fear from the enemy, and we complain to God. That is good and we need to voice these and tell God what we want and come to him as we are his children.
In life, we get angry. If we react by criticizing God or others, by blaming God or others, or by standing in judgement of God or others, we are in trouble, are are headed for bondage. When we get angry, we need to pour out our complaint before and to God, and not go to criticism, blame, and judgement.
Complaining (the complaint to God) is good and a must. When life hands us hurt, sadness, anxiety, shame, or guilt; we often feel anger. But beneath the anger is the loss, the hurt, sadness, anxiety, shame, or guilt.
When we feel anger, but deny the loss or hurt, and do not take the pain to God, but instead go into criticism and blame; we become disconnected from our authentic selves, others, and God. And this is why complaining and lamenting to God is so important. Good counselors help people to bring their complaints before God and release forgiveness and become free from the bondage created by freezing anger into criticism and blame and judgement
So, pouring out your complaints to God and expressing lament is good spiritual hygiene. You may think it sounds silly to sing to God or recite the poem of your life right now, that contains words of mourning, grief, sadness, hurt, fear, anxiety, or shame. But that is exactly what we are called to do, as God’s children.
Consider the fact that God already sees and by telling him, you are letting him know, know you, from your end, and you get to receive more grace and love from him. When you do not tell God something that is on your heart, you are deliberately disconnecting yourself or that part of your self from the one who loves you, and from your authentic self that is connected to God. The healthy, normal flow is for no disconnects and open communion.