Envy of Another’s Life

“I wish I had his life,”

I caught myself muttering knowing there were more hours on a clock that kept me prisoner from my home.  I think we’ve all been there gawking in assumption and wanting the blatant and carefree lifestyles the fortunate parade before those struggling with life’s difficulties.  As bills pile higher and something new suddenly needs repair, while the single mom races towards her second job or an anxious father stands by his child’s first chemo treatment, my prayers for relief are reduced to groans that well from the pit of sadness deep within my gut.  Obviously, life is not fair in our ability to enjoy it and asking “Why” may be even more frustrating.  But, if I am absolutely honest, I really don’t want their life…actually I want something much more – immeasurably more.   I want to know a life free of pain and sorrow that fears nothing and rests in a state of incorruptible love.   I know that this type of life cannot be bought by even the wealthiest yet ironically comes at a price all are capable of giving.  The cost you ask? It costs us everything we are capable of expressing in humble gratitude when we discover the mercy of being forgiven.  It is realizing the wisdom of obedience that allows true freedom in God’s will as we set our eyes towards sainthood.  Still our eyes are drawn to grass that’s always greener and we desperately beg God for some relief from our physical, emotional, and/or financial concerns.  Maybe the greatest mystery of becoming Christian is the kenotic concept to further empty ourselves even if we feel we have come to the end of ourself.  Still we must empty, not only to reflect how Christ abandoned His mighty throne to become a fragile human embryo, but so we may truly accept our forgiveness won for us through His death.  As time marches on and another’s once green grass soon browns, it is not their life I envy but that which Christ offers.  As possibly confusing and broad the Christian road may be towards obtaining salvific life in Christ, narrow is the way through obedience.  In order to obtain a gift one must accept it – even with little faith.  Obedience is our expression of love and humility towards a merciful Savior not a taskmaster.  His commands are the footprints we follow while perfectly yoked to His strength and guidance.  Allowing us to carry our burden with Christ is the opportunity to work in the very shadow of the very cross we carry.  Sometimes unknowingly, as hard as we work, Jesus bears the heavier portion which is sufficient for our humility while abiding in His promise and true presence. Grace abounds in our opportunities to labor in God’s fields and stand thunderstruck in the joy of the harvest.  Work is not a commodity applied to Grace, it is reflection of our true purpose and capacity to glorify God.  It is here in our most difficult times of work that our cross is absorbed into His and the narrow road before us becomes the Kingdom at hand.  So..no I don’t want another’s life – just give me Jesus because He alone is Life.

Pick up your cross,

Chris

How do you express your gratitude of being forgiven through Christ’s saving work at Calvary?

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2 thoughts on “Envy of Another’s Life

  1. My mom & I were just having this conversation last night, as we reflected on her ankle that she had broken in 5 places, while visiting the Holyland Experience in Orlando. However, as we reflected on her injury, neither of us would want to trade places with anyone else. Aside from the fact that we have both always planned for the future, saved instead of spent, planned for the ‘unexpected,’ learned the difference between ‘wants’ & ‘needs,’ appreciated the TRUE friends we have made over the years, who have shown their true colors, who have been there when we needed them most, the most important reason we wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone is the assurance that God’s Word tells us about our salvation. Sadly, many people don’t have this assurance because they don’t believe God’s written Word, but rather they don’t have that assurance, because they believe that they can’t have that assurance based on what other people tell them – including their religious leaders. When we have that assurance, we have nothing to be envious about, & it makes the ‘temporary light afflictions’ in this life that the Apostle Paul talked about, when we have to carry our crosses, that much more bearable. When we believe the words of our Savior that He is the ONLY Way to Heaven (not Muhammed, not Ghandi, not Buddha, not the Krishna, not our own personal or religious beliefs…but JESUS), we rejoice because we know that for the majority of our existence, we will be spending it with our Heavenly Father. I wouldn’t want to trade THAT for anything…or anyone!

    • Thanks for your insights Steve…and my prayers go out for quick healing for your Mom’s shattered ankle (Ugggh!!!!). What a wonderful relationship you have with your Mom and the knowledge of true friends. God’s invitation made flesh through His Son Jesus, extends beyond just a personal relationship but beckons all to unite with an Eternal and Holy Family. It seems that hope in the promises won for us through Christ’s merit is that pearl of great price. Although the splendor of hope may not change those present sufferings, it does allow us to see them as temporary. It is also this eternal hope that allows us to see the temporary envy of another’s opulent lifestyle is just a distraction from what should be our focus. Continue sharing that vision of hope Steve – The world needs it!
      In Him we rise,
      Chris

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