As I sit here, swaddled in thick blankets, surrounded by kleenex, water and cough drops, the last thing I really want to do, is to have to fight this all consuming need to compare myself to those around me. How is it so easy that I fall into this time and time again? Why is it so easy to let Satan pick apart my confidence and whisper lies in my ear?
You know what?
I’m not perfect. I’m single. I’m childless. I’m struggling. I’m stubborn. I am alone. I have a soft heart. I hurt. I’m proud.
I will not hand over this day to despair and comparing myself to those around me.
While I lamented my frustrations and hurts to God, I was reminded of my own words from months ago;
“Lord, lead me to the field where my heart and affections need to be”.
My own words broke me a little. Here, in the midst of comparison, jealousy was eating at my tender, hurting heart. It was then that I realized I had two choices, I could either stay here in the depths of my own despair and comparison, or I could turn and run into the arms of a loving God, who would wrap His arms around me and lead me to where I need to be.
I choose to take my hurting heart and run with it into the arms of Jesus.
I will not relinquish this day to lies to being whispered in my ear. Nor will I allow a foothold on the messy parts of me that God is untangling and making into something beautiful.
I’m not perfect, I make mistakes. I’m single, but I’m not unloved. I’m childless, but I will love those who need love. I’m struggling, but I know who is fighting for me. I’m stubborn, but I’m not unteachable. I am alone, but I have not been abandoned. I have a soft heart, but I know whose hands it is safe in. I will hurt, but I will not remain in the clutches of bitterness. I’m proud, but I will not let my pride get the better of me. And when I am hurting and Satan’s lies are eating away at the very heart of me, I know where I can find grace and peace and love in abundance.
As I’ve been reading my way through the Bible, I’ve found myself stopping and stalling either at, during or after some books. Have you ever sat down and just read your way through Lamentations? It’s not this happy book of sunshine and rainbows. It’s called Lamentations for a reason. It expresses this overwhelming sense of loss that accompanied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, but more importantly, the exile of Judah’s inhabitants from the land that God had meant to give to Israel as a homeland. But in the sense that it’s not an easy book to read through, it expresses in some essence, how lament and grief are a crucial part of the journey of faith of God’s people in a broken world.
We live in a broken world. We are broken people.
Bad things happen, and we get angry with God. We ask questions, and we demand answers to things we think we should understand as they happen.
But, we forget that in the midst of everything happening, the grief, the hurt, and the comparison, that God has us firmly in His hand. And what a joyous thing it is to know that He is not letting go! That He loves us unconditionally, that His mercies and grace is new each and every day, and that He doesn’t compare us to anyone.
That’s one thing I’ve come to love about the book of Lamentations. While it’s human grief and suffering transposed onto pages, there’s such a promise of hope and a reminder of how unfailing God’s love is for us.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him'” Lamentations 3:22-24