life in general

The Thief of Joy

He asks what’s wrong. I answer with my usual, “Nothing. I’m fine.” He can read it on my face, see it in my eyes. I’m not okay. I confess, “I shouldn’t have said I was fine, because I’m not fine. I’m comparing myself to others.”

I begin telling him how I want to be successful. I want to contribute to our family. I want a new (to us) car, but don’t want to put the stress of a car payment on his shoulders. I know… and I truly do know, comparison is the thief of joy.

He asks me, “Do you want to be successful in the eyes of the world or in the eyes of our Lord?” He doesn’t ask in a demeaning or condemning way; he asks with full sincerity. My deepest desire is to please God, to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him (Romans 12:1). How can I possibly be living that way if I’m comparing the worldly views of success against the heavenly view?

He pours into my spirit. He showers the Father’s love upon me. His words inspire, renew, rejuvenate. In my Father’s eyes, I AM successful. I’m where I’m supposed to be. I know Jesus. Our kids hear about Jesus, our Savior, every day. We brought them home where God wants them. The days may be long, and at times difficult, but they are amazing girls with love, compassion, manners, and child-like faith. I followed His voice, sacrificed personal time, a paycheck, and at times sanity, to be where He wants me.

The world says, “More money, more things, more happiness!”  The enemy taunts, “She’s better than you. She’s more successful than you. She has it all.” But when I step back and answer my husband’s question honestly, I realize that I’m not looking towards heaven… I’m looking at new cars, better furniture, a life of travel. But right now, that’s not where God has us.  It’s not to say he’ll never have us there. Maybe one day we will RV across the country. Maybe one day we will travel overseas to exotic places. Maybe I’ll have the car I’ve been wanting for a few years now.

But comparing my life, what we have, won’t get those things. They’ll become idols. They’ll become hurt. No, it’s not where God has us at the moment, and that’s okay. Where He’s got us is better than where we could have dreamed… and instead of comparing myself, I’m going to rock in my rocking chair, enjoying our big beautiful yard, while our 7 and 2-year-old sit upon my lap, enjoying suckers, and giggling together.

Yes, comparison is the thief of joy, and I’ve allowed it to steal too much of my time.

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2 thoughts on “The Thief of Joy

  1. I enjoyed your blog on Thief of Joy. I wish I’d learned this when I was your age. Stay turned to the cross, sweet girl. What you and W are teaching your children will reward you, God and your community for a lifetime.

    1. Thank you, Deb. That means a lot to Willard and I both. I wish I would have learned this years ago too, but am so thankful for the cross and all the wisdom and grace it provides for us all.

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