Wow, I just realized a really strange contradiction in my mind.
One of the things I've been SO grateful for over the past three years of crazy trials, junk, difficulty, adversity (whatever you want to call it!) is the base of Christianity I was blessed to embrace as a kid. ... the key word in that is "embrace." Somehow by God's grace I embraced my relationship with God and made it personal at a young age. That foundation has kept me steady and grounded in the middle of this, and I'm so grateful for every service, message, moment spent in God's presence in the first 20-some years of my life.
In fact, I've purposely thought, I want people younger than me to have that same type of foundation built in their lives. I want them to have the foundation I had so that when difficulties come, they can face it. (P.S. I think a lot of that foundation comes from being in the presence of the Lord!!!)
Here's where the contradiction comes. More recently I've found myself looking at people younger than me who are all enthusiastic about Jesus and look totally sold out to Jesus worshiping Him and think, "Well, they wouldn't be quite like that if they've been through what I've been through. Just wait until they face crazy difficulty like I have...."
The contradiction probably seems obvious to you, but it took me a while... I have wished and wanted and prayed that people younger than me will take time to grow the base of a relationship with God that I did... and now I'm watching and wishing they were going through the same questions I am.
Totally wrong. And, yes, I'm being perfectly honest and blunt, so no judging. :)
I do pretty good at reminding myself that everyone has their own trials and no trial looks alike from person to person. These people I see and am perhaps jealous of might have already gone through worse than me. They might even still be in the middle of it. They may never go through something as traumatic.
Don't get me wrong. I don't wish that anyone will have to deal with the deaths that I've had to deal with. I know people won't. I also know that some people will... that's the nature of life. You and I will always find someone who has gone through something worse and something better than what we've gone through.
But I think the bigger thing is that I need to remember what Paul wrote in Romans 12:15. You and I need to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
For me, I think the "rejoice with others" is really tough for me at times. I'm not sure why. Probably that big old "p" word... pride. My pride wants attention. I want the good things.
Yikes... it's dangerous to post something this blunt. Perhaps I'm not alone though. Pride is a deadly killer and comes in the most insidious ways.
Well, if I go back to a previous post of mine , every good thing that happens to other people is actually beneficial to me, especially when they are part of the body of Christ. As the body, we support each other and if another portion of the body gets stronger, in essence, I get stronger because I'm a part of the same structure.
Interesting how that works.
Lord, please forgive me for being jealous of others who haven't been through what I've been through. Help me to remember we all have our own share of adversity and it all looks different. And help me to remember to change my focus from earth to heaven... (that can be so tricky!) especially when I'm sad or frustrated.
Remind me and all of my family and friends that they are loved by You today.
In Jesus' name, Amen.