‘Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have’ (The Message)
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this every day. For me, it’s not about things, objects, ‘stuff’, but more about ability, as such.
I wish I could write better (or as well as her, or that blogger, or that author).
I wish I naturally had more patience (like that mum I know who I’ve never heard raise her voice at her kids and never seems to get frustrated with her family).
I wish I was more disciplined by nature (like my friend who is always so organised and has everything under control and exercises every day and only cooks gluten free….).
I wish I had more confidence in my opinions and expressing them (like so many people I know who are so sure of what they say).
I wish I felt assured that I am enough, and I don’t need to keep trying to be more (like so many women I know in real life and online whom I admire).
Before my husband and I came back together again, I so desperately, desperately wanted to be in a relationship, just like the majority of my friends and people I knew – even though I knew their relationships were far from perfect.
I wish, I wish, I wish……..
I can get so caught up wishing for things I don’t have (or think I don’t have – it’s all about perception), that I lose sight of what I do have.
At the absolute basic level of life, I wake up breathing every day, I have a roof over my head, food on my plate several times a day and people who love me. Everything else is gravy.
I have the ability and the opportunity to write every day, because I was born into a world that values education and literacy, and encouraging creativity. I write because it is how God has created me, and I’ve been able to realise that.
Whenever I’m impatient in life, with anything, it gives me the opportunity to practice grace – with myself, with other people, with whatever situation I’m in. If I’m cross with the kids or frustrated with my husband, it’s because they’re in my life, and I love them. Because we are all human beings, we are imperfect, and we all rub each other up the wrong way at times – if we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t become impatient and cross and frustrated. So I’ll take impatience over nothing any day.
I may not be as disciplined as I *think* I should be, but I am plenty organised enough to provide my family with what they need, to perform in my job effectively and efficiently, and to know how to take care of myself.
When I am sure of what I know and what I believe, I have no fear in speaking it out, and am learning to stand in the courage of my convictions, even when they fly in the face of what the world around me thinks. I’m learning that whatever we think or do or say, if we do and say it with love and kindness and respect, and without judgement, it is heard and received as it’s intended. I still have the element of ‘what will they think of me?’, but I am learning to counter that instead with ‘what does God think of me?’, to live with the power and courage that the Spirit gives us . It’s working.
I was created in the image of God, and He has claimed me as His own. I am enough for Him, so how can I not believe that I am enough? Being anything more or less than who I already am will not make Jesus love me any more or any less, He loves me just as I am.
And for the whole time I was praying and hoping and despairing and crying over the desire for a new relationship, God was working in me – breaking me, moulding me, reshaping me into being more like Him (I’m still a long, long way away from that). Without that experience, I would not be who I am now, and my husband and I wouldn’t be together again.
Strong’s Concordance gives the translation of ‘envieth’ (as in the KJV) as ‘to have warmth of feeling for or against: – affect, covet (earnestly), (have) desire, (move with) envy, be jealous over, (be) zealous, zealously affect’. Love doesn’t feel these things, doesn’t behave this way – we do, because of our humanness, but we can choose not to, when we choose love, when we choose to live like Christ, and not give in to our self. Believe me, I know that that is far easier said than done, and it’s something I have to be conscious of and work on every single day.
God gives us every single thing we need, even if it’s not what we think. He knows what we need – not want, but need – more than what we do. Wanting something else takes our attention away from what we already have. Envy steals faith. Jealousy binds up our hearts with bitterness and the desire for what we don’t have.
But when we love, when we choose faith and trust over envy and jealousy, we see what we have, the blessings before us that God has showered on us with abundance. Which He does because He loves us more than we could ever fathom.
What is your ‘weak point’ when it comes to envy and jealousy? How do you counter that, and try not to let it affect how you live?