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Griping is not an unusual trait shared by a good number of believers whether they are at work, at home or in church—demanding bosses, nagging wives, stubborn kids, boring preachers, incompetent government, rising prices, the list of our objects of complaint goes on and on. If we fined ourselves for every moment we whined since our childhood, we would probably be substantially richer today. One instance demonstrating this feeble nature of man happened after the tragic death of a teenage snow-boarder in the Angeles Crest Mountains in 1998. Jeff Thornton, the young snow-boarder, was found by a resilient search party after being lost for ten days, only to die about a week later as a result of complications of gangrene, frostbite, exposure, shock, and broken bones. The Christians in the town where Jeff had lived had different reactions to the boy’s demise: some (among them Jeff’s mother) were thankful that God allowed Jeff to be with them a short while longer; most others were angry, questioning God for allowing Jeff to be found only to take him away again. For these townsfolk, God was either gracious or cruel, depending on who you asked.

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