A while back, I came face to face with the fact that I’ve been carrying around jealousy. It wasn’t a realization that I came upon on my own after deep reflection or anything like that. I was stopped dead in my tracks, in my bathroom to be specific. I was in one of those moments that we all have when about a hundred different thoughts were coursing through my mind, some of them good and most of them worrisome. Suddenly as I stood there, I found myself saying, “Lord, I am so jealous!” The words came to me from Him – it was like he knew my stewing brain wasn’t going to figure out what I needed to confess, so he just forced the words out of me so I could see what was bringing me pain. It was a confession, and it was a release. It shook me out of a fog I’d been in all day, and if I’m being honest, for much longer than a day. I cried but not because I wanted to be granted all the things I had been jealous of, but because I wanted to experience joy in my life and be free from the burden of jealousy.
There was no one specific thing that I could identify being jealous of. I guess it’s more of a cumulative thing for me. Jealous of things that others have that I have not yet achieved or experienced. Jealous of people with money. People with more free time than I have. People who love their lives.
But what I realized as God called this emotion out was that was exactly what I was supposed to do to GET THROUGH IT. I had to offer it up as the sin that it is. It’s like poison.
When we look around us, we see people who have joy and we see people who don’t. I know in my heart that joy has nothing to do with money, things, jobs, achievements. I know those things can bring a satisfaction. But it’s not where joy comes from and I know that.
I went to the Word and found Ephesians 2 – it begins by saying “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…”
That’s what jealousy does to me. It makes me feel dead. It numbs me out to the life that God wants to give me. The joy. In a daily reading plan I do on my phone, one of the notes said “The magnificent and heart-stopping truth is that you can have as much of God as you could possibly want! The question has never changed from the Garden of Eden until today, how much of Him do you want?”
As I stood there in my bathroom, before I had even read that verse, I remember thinking that I just wanted to feel joy that I know is possible. That I’ve felt before when I wasn’t so bound up. He led me to confess that sin and is going to show me the way out of it. He’s not restricting me, restraining me, or putting burdens on me. He’s lifting the ones that are here on Earth and offering me a much better option.
This is more than religion, this is me living out my life as part of the God Story. This is the story of my life unfolding in the best possible way.