I’ve received such exciting news: I’m going to be an aunt! Again! Yippee!! =D
My little brother and his beautiful bride are expecting their first baby in December (a baby girl to be named after me. Or at least, she would be named after me if my name were the name they’d actually chosen.)
I’m so excited for them =D
And I’m so proud of my brother. He’s joined the Air Force, is working hard at fighting fires, is planning a career in paramedics, married the love of his life, just bought his first house, and now he’s a father. Wow, what a year he’s had!
But there’s a teensy problem, an ugly truth: I’m kind of, a little bit, sorta… jealous. Of course I love my brother and of course I’m happy for him… but, a new house? A beautiful baby? I’ve been asking God for those for a long time. Not to mention, I had to wait six years longer than he did for a Godly spouse.
So, yeah, I’ve had to battle some jealously. But honestly, that’s nothing new for me. Because when I went to the baseball game the other night, I counted six smiling, pregnant women. And when I was watching house-hunting shows on TV, I saw people buying some lovely homes. And when I went to the bookstore, I saw rows and rows of published authors who are reaching millions of people with their messages.
Through all of it, my human, little heart has been whimpering, “Why them and not me, Lord?”
We’ve all asked that question, haven’t we? Maybe you only ask it every now and then, but for me… well, I’ve indulged and now I host a pity-party on a near daily basis.
The worst part is that envy is isolating: Jealousy will make you feel that you are the only one on the planet whose dreams aren’t coming true. The only woman who isn’t pregnant, the only 30-something year old who doesn’t own a house, the only girl at the Bible study who doesn’t have a boyfriend, the only husband whose wife doesn’t respect him, the only employee who was passed over for a promotion, etc.
And that’s when the enemy really strikes. All of a sudden, the lie hits and hits hard: “It’s not fair; they got more than me.”
But that is a lie, and here’s how I know. A few days ago, I read Heb. 13:5:
‘Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”’
Whenever I’m trying to claw my way out of the envy pit, I use more comparisons: I think of people who have it worse than I do, or I think about the problems the people I’m envying have. I don’t think about how much I have in knowing and being known by Jesus. That’s why this verse hit me so hard.
I realized, Jesus really is all that matters, in this world and the next. In the end, it’s all about Him.
I know, we all learned this on day one of Sunday school, but here’s my point: if it’s all about Jesus, then there is no reason to be jealous. Everything is equal, everything is fair, no one got more, no one got less.
Because you can have as much Jesus as you want.
God is not a respecter of persons and, while He has different paths for each of us with different blessings and challenges, He’s given us each the same Holy Spirit. He sent the same Jesus to die for our sins. We each have the same level of access to the Father, to the creator of Heaven and Earth.
What more do we need?
One of the most popular verses in connection to jealously is Jesus’ rebuke to Peter in John 21:22;
‘Jesus said to him,… “what is that to you? You follow Me!”’
I believe there are two ways to take Jesus’ words here. The first (the way I’ve always understood it) is as a rebuke, a reminder of Who’s in charge. But I think the second interpretation is a reminder of the privilege we’ve all been given.
We are the adopted children of God. We get to sit as His table, stand before His throne. We get to follow Jesus.
He lets us follow Him.
So what’s it to us if others get things we too would like? We’re following Jesus. The Son of God Who died for our sins, Who loved us before we were even conceived, Who breathed out the stars so we wouldn’t have to be afraid of the dark, Who counts our footsteps and catches our tears. That Jesus.
He’s letting us follow Him.
How does that reality not consume our thoughts until there’s no room left for jealousy?
I believe it can if we let it, if we fight for it. I believe Jesus wants that reality – the reality of our inheritance as His coheirs – to overwhelm us and change us and satisfy us. I believe He wants us to sing to Him of our contentment.
So I’m redirecting my focus and my praise. I’m God’s daughter, everything else is just sprinkles.
And sweetheart brothers with beautiful new baby girls are some of the most wonderful sprinkles there are =)