Frustration happens to everybody. You get up in the morning feeling in good shape and you stub your toe on the foot of the bed. The shirt you picked is missing a button, you start the coffee pot and while you’re fixing your toast the coffee boiled over and you’ve got a mess to clean up. You click on the weather to see if you’re going to need a raincoat and all they want to talk about is how cold the winter is going to be. With the day starting that way you wonder what else is going to go wrong. It is frustrating.

Even the almighty God expressed frustration with the people of Israel. In Isaiah 5:4 God asked “what more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done for it? I looked for it to yield grapes and it yielded wild grapes.” He explained that the house of Israel is his vineyard, and the men of Judah are his planting. He looked for justice and found bloodshed; He looked for righteousness and found protest.

God chose the people, gave them his law, gave them the promised land, gave them the temple worship and everything they needed to honor God and believe in him. Instead of honoring God they rejected his word and offered to God what they thought would make them righteous. They even refused to accept Jesus as the Son of God. In his frustration he sent his apostles to the gentiles.

Now the ball is in our court. Now we are the chosen people to whom God has given all that is necessary for us to believe in him and to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. We will avoid frustrating God by trusting him alone for the forgiveness of our sin. We accept that forgiveness of sin and show our love for God by doing gladly what he asks us to do in his word. He sums up his commandments for us with a simple command to love one another as he has loved us. That is a lifetime assignment, not limited to a small task now and then, but a conscious constant attitude towards God and people that leaves us no choice but to do the right thing because we want to. Not because we have to.

We could even be inclined to say, “thank you God and have a good day.”

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor. Family of Christ Lutheran Church