Lord, create in me a heart that longs for only You.
Series Focus: “Resurrecting Hope in the Midst of Life’s Storms”
Sitting still with God is one of my favorite activities. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to curl up in a blanket with my prayer journal, pen, and my bible on my lap. Oh, I almost forgot, my styrofoam cup filled with what some people call “poison” but with what I like to call “the drink of champions” (add diet coke and laughter here.)
Even though my time with God is precious to me, it wasn’t always easy committing to this sacred habit. It was in those quiet moments I felt His whispers reshaping me, molding me and drawing me closer to Him. Those transformed pieces of my life brought more grace and goodness to me. Along with the beautiful things, He also brought to my mind things I delighted in, but didn’t honor Him at all. I cried out for Him to make me more like Him all the while hoping I wouldn’t have to change. But I did. One day, one step at a time.
One of the biggest areas of challenge for me was contentment. Contentment with a capital “C”. The constant wondering of what was on the other side of door number 2 or even 3…any door but the door I was living behind. I found myself watching how my family members, friends, and co-workers lived life. It seemed like they all had purpose and a happiness that I longed to have, but couldn’t reach. If I had a job, it was the wrong job. If I had a good marriage, someone else had a great one. If my girlfriend could work a business from home and raise two kids, I definitely could. At every turn, whether it was a material object or simply a feeling of validation…they had it and I needed it! Is this what God meant by jealousy? I didn’t think of myself as jealous, but here I was desiring everything I didn’t have and not valuing the gifts in front of me.
“Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” (Galatians 5:26)
Jealousy doesn’t seem like a sin when you are in the middle of it. It feels more like a desire that hasn’t been met, and the other people are just showing you what you want or need. But being jealous doesn’t lead you to a path of joy. It lead me down a path of very destructive thoughts about myself, my husband and my life. Nothing was enough to fill the space I needed filled. I blamed everyone, but mostly me, for my restlessness. What could I do better? What if I tried this new thing? Over and over I ran the ideas through my mind. When I think back, I can’t believe I was that person. Constant comparison was holding me captive and I needed to be rescued. It wasn’t until several years passed and lots of heartaches hit that I would meet the ultimate rescuer – Jesus Christ.
I began to desire different things as I grew in my faith. Not the material things that other people had, but the true contentment that came with knowing Christ. I had to watch myself because even while building a relationship with Jesus I slipped a few times. I became “jealous” of other women’s relationship with Him. I wanted to know Him deeper, trust Him completely and follow Him fully. So, was it still a sin? I think so…even though it was a good thing to desire, my heart was still idolizing what others had. Those weeds of comparison, insecurity and envy had to go. I won’t claim to be flawless in this area, but I am FREE because Jesus says I am. It is my job to declare it and to fight the lies that come at me. When I feel that twinge pushing through the soil of my heart – I pull the weed and kill it before it can take root in my life. I do not need what others have, I need Jesus.
If you are struggling with this in your life, surrender it by being honest – by calling it what it is. Jesus is right here waiting to break that chain for you. He has made you for your purpose and no one else’s. Contentment is a blessing we can all have if we keep our eyes focused on the One above.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6)
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Galatians 5:26; John 8:36; Exodus 20:17; 1 Timothy 6:6