When grief sounds like envy.
Seeing a mom and daughter together can thrust me into the blur of what should have been. The holiday season is replete with reminders. The complicated pangs of grief too easily twist themselves into envy and bitterness. Why do they get that life, and why do I not? Good Father, only You know.
When we find ourselves wrestling with what should have been, and when we find ourselves longing for someone else’s life, we must be quick to pour out our pain to the Father. A heart in pain cannot be trusted, but the Spirit can always be trusted.
You would much rather stuff bitterness down deep because you’re a loving person who harbors no ill will toward others. And that may be true, but quiet bitterness left dormant never seems to resolve itself. It instead can have a curious way of growing, evolving into character defects.
You are not alone in feeling the acidic twinge of jealousy in your pain. Your enemy has been lying to you about this. When Peter implores us to cast our anxiety on God, there is a reason that Peter follows up with the reminder that our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion. It’s no surprise the stakes are high in our pain; the enemy has seen what God can do with it. Keep your head in Scripture and your heart in God’s presence. You are not forgotten nor in despair nor the first or only to experience this suffering. The family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (See 1 Peter 5).
What you do with your hard feelings matters. There is only One equipped to hold them. There is only One powerful enough to transform them. When talking with God about your hard feelings, I wonder if He’ll move you to action. Because in Christ Jesus, we can be love long before we feel love. Maybe that’s a prayer of good things over the person that’s living the life you wanted. Maybe that’s a word of encouragement to that person. Maybe it’s the physical act of giving them something that blesses them: a resource, a note, a helping hand. You don’t have to feel God’s love toward them to be God’s love toward them.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:6-11 (NIV).
Prayer. Lord, help me to trust Your plans for me are good.
Application. Today, I will bless the person living the life I wanted.