Anatomy of a Complaint

When complaining threatens to rear its ugly head, take a moment to anatomize the complaint. The results are often surprising.

Last Friday morning I opened up the refrigerator to get a drink of cold filtered water. The water was room temperature. I felt around and it wasn’t just the water. The fridge was warm.

I called the property manager who said he’d send someone out to look at it. A few hours later, just as I’d fallen asleep with the baby, a repairman knocked on the door. He took a look and said we’d need a new one and would order one right away.

By now, the dairy products and leftovers in the fridge had gone bad. The repair man returned a couple hours later, measured the opening and realized the fridge he’d bought was too tall. It was late Friday afternoon and they’d have to order a new one. It wouldn’t be here ’til Monday or Tuesday.

I wanted to complain.

Complaining drips as easily as water from a broken faucet. But when I break down my complaints, I find I'm usually complaining about disguised blessings.

Anatomy of a complaint

Then it hit me, I wanted to complain about a whole bunch of blessings.

The water wasn’t cold but I have all the water I want to drink. I don’t have to haul it up or transport it miles. There’s a faucet in the kitchen!

The refrigerator was broken but we have a refrigerator! And the freezer still works. That’s more than most people around the world and throughout history. My great  grand-mother would have thought me wealthy.

The repairman woke me up in the middle of the first mid-week nap I’d taken in weeks yet I had a nap, even if it was short. And more importantly, I get to be home with my children during the day. I get to teach them, cuddle them and spend the day together.

The repairman didn’t think to measure before ordering a fridge but replacing the refrigerator isn’t our expense. One of the blessings of renting!

We’ll be without a fridge for four or five days but in five years of marriage I’ve had the luxury of a fridge for all but five days.

Some food went bad but I realized the fridge was broken right before heading out to go shopping. Only a little food was spoiled.

Waiting for the repairman threw off my plans which was a good reminder that God is in control of my days. Even if sometimes I want to be.

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God!” Trials do come, but more often than not, we have nothing to complain about. Even if we wanted to.


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