Last week I challenged myself to pray for the girl I’ve been envying. Whenever I thought of her or someone or something else I envied (and remembered my challenge – I can be scatter-brained!) I prayed for that person or thing I was thinking about. I was astounded and kind of appalled at how often I envy!
This week as I prayed, 2 things kept coming into my mind:
God is Big Enough to Bless You and That Other Girl
I’d hate to know how many hours I’ve wasted wishing and dreaming that I had “that” girl’s life! How good things would be if only I had her job and circumstances.
This week, though, it hit me that I don’t have to be wishing for some blessing that was never meant for me. God can and will bless me too. Romans 10:12-13 says “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all those who call on him …” God is not a respecter of persons and shows no favoritism. He wants to bless each one of us. Keep praying and trust that he will do what he says he will do.
Who are You Helping?
When this question popped into my head: “You know that there are so many hurting people in this world, but what are you doing to help even one of them?” I quickly reminded myself that: 1, I have kids and don’t have time to do anything, 2, don’t have much extra money to donate, and 3, I don’t know anyone who needs help. Off the hook — for a second.
Hebrews 13:15-16 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God, followed by loving your neighbor as yourself. There is something amazing that happens when you take the focus off of yourself and help someone else.
When I told God I didn’t know anyone who needed help, later I that day learned about a church member who was sick, heard about about an acquaintance that was struggling with cancer and thought of a friend who needed a phone call. Though those were “small” things, it is amazing how helping others took my focus off myself and changed my perspective. In light of cancer, sickness and loneliness, my pity party about the unfairness of life didn’t seem so important.
So instead of wasting your downtime wishing your life was different, I encourage you to change your focus pray about how you can help someone else. That is the true key to joy I think.
While you may not be able to feed starving children in Africa, adopt orphans or work in a soup kitchen in some downtown city, there are people everywhere who need a bit of kindness.