I woke up the other day with a task weighing on me. It needed to get taken care of that day, and it was going to be a pain. It was, sadly, a situation I know well.
I could have taken care of this a while ago, but I thought I had lots of time. Then some things came up. Then I forgot. Then a couple of more surprises occurred. And now I had to do it immediately, and it was going to be rushed and inconvenient. And the whipped cream and cherry on this humble pie was that I was going to have to admit to somebody else that I had messed up.
But what was the first thought that hit me in the dark of my pre-dawn bedroom? Repentance? Thanksgiving that my biggest problem was not food and shelter but the public admission that I’m not superwoman? Nope. It was this quick and fleeting thought: I’ll bet Jane has never had this problem.
Poor Jane. She was probably still drinking her morning coffee, unaware that she had been put on trial and found guilty of having an easier life than me.
The funny thing is, Jane will be the first to tell you of her failures. She never claims to be perfect. In fact, I often think she’s too hard on herself. And while she has been blessed in this particular area, she knows it’s only God’s grace to her. But this minor irritation, this set of circumstances that will likely be forgotten in a decade, suddenly seemed like the single obstacle to my happiness. And my friend Jane had it. I didn’t begrudge that she was blessed in this way (I’m not that mean), but I wished that I had been blessed this way, too.
So what’s a woman to do when she wakes up faced with a difficult task, the admission that she’s failed, AND the realization that she’s jealous of her friend?
Sometimes I procrastinate because I’m lazy. Sometimes I’m forgetful because I haven’t been a good steward of my time and energy (e.g., I don’t get enough sleep). But in this case? Not really. I really thought waiting was the wisest option. But because I can’t predict the future, I was wrong. My biggest problem, being human, isn’t sin. But my bitter reaction to it? Yeah, I need to repent about that.
We’re often told to count our blessings and remember that other people have it harder. There are certainly worse things you can do, but both of those options place our joy in our circumstances. It’s probably better to just remember that my ultimate hope is not in my circumstances, but in God (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Remember God’s Sovereignty
I say this so often I sound like a broken record, but it’s the only thing worth putting my hope in. Yes, God could have given me a life like Jane’s, but he didn’t. He gave me my life, with my circumstances, with the intricate combination of human beings who have their own weaknesses and blind spots. Some days it’s a train wreck waiting to happen. Some days go well. But this is what I’ve got, and he has promised to walk beside me and use it for my good and his glory.