There are certainly plenty of events in our secular life that cause us dissatisfaction, anxiety and perhaps even depression.  Unfulfilled or delayed promises by governments and commercial entities are a couple of examples.  Unconcern or outright lies by employees and managers who should be working to facilitate our purchasing or dining experiences are becoming all too common.  Recently a check cleared our bank that was sent to our insurance agency two months ago.  They told us that we were in danger of having our coverage terminated after denying they had ever received that check.  This happened again later but an apology is probably out of the question.

Interaction with our fellow humans are also a source of frustration.  Being stood up for a date or appointment with no good excuse, rude behavior by passengers and drivers, failure to acknowledge one’s presence in a group are just a few annoyances that produce frustration.  The problem for Christians is that frustration can quickly turn to anger and hate.

The Old Testament prophet, Jonah, might be the poster child for frustration because of his dissatisfaction at God’s choice to forgive the wicked residents of Nineveh. (Jnh 3:10) (Jnh 4:1-3) They were a cruel people full of prostitution, witchcraft and exploitation.  Even though Jonah warned them to repent or face destruction, he was extremely frustrated when the inhabitants repented and God had compassion on them and didn’t destroy them.  Jonah was so angry and depressed that he was ready to die. (Jnh 4:3)

If we are totally honest, we will admit that our ego is at the center of most frustrations.  We may feel we are treated unfairly or with lack of respect.  Just a little introspection might show that we sometimes blame God like Jonah did.  God used a vine to teach him to be concerned about other people, even enemies. (Jnh 4:5-10) We need to be attentive to Him in case He has a lesson for us about our frustrations.

                                                             –Jim Bailey