Comparison

Today’s post is a guest post from my friend, Sara Cormany.  She and I met in Kansas in a small group at the Community Bible Study in Overland Park, Kansas.  We were both young moms.  We are both still young moms.  I was pregnant that year with our second son, and we had just moved to Kansas from Georgia.  I considered Kansas “our foreign land”…kind of like how Moses and the Hebrews had to wander the desert for many years.  I felt like a Hebrew there.  However, there were some fine Christian men and women that we met on our journey through Kansas.  Thankfully Facebook keeps me connected to some of those special women.  With her permission, I am posting Sara’s Saturday status update:

The last few days have been a tad on the rough side.

Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.

Nothing grand or particularly noteworthy or life changing but just rough.

And when you forge through sleepless nights and treatments that require a lot of sitting, your mind meanders and wanders and over thinks the crud out of just about everything.

So in this state, over the past few days, my spirit has been filled with comparison.

Comparison to those who can run and jump and safely care for their kids around water.

Comparison to those who can’t even set up a yellow giraffe or purple octopus sprinkler.

Comparision to those who are camping and traveling and jet-setting while I just sit.

Comparison to those who are bedridden from now until Home.

Comparison to those who have babies in their own time and own way.

Comparison to those who have no babies at all.

But today’s comparison took the cake, literally…

Comparison to the people who made it to Dunkin’ Donuts before me and got the coconut donut I wanted.

Yikes.

Then comparison to those in the world who have nothing to eat.

Shame.

And I found something intently wonderful at the end of this back-and-forth carousel of sometimes ridiculous comparison.

When I compare myself to those who have more or less, I am often thrown onto a see saw of bitterness and guilt. These seeds are most definitely not of the Spirit. And when they are scattered on the landscape of my heart and mind, Satan goes to town.

Guilt motivates me to unthinkingly and often blindly go down roads that I should, in retrospect, never have traveled. (Even when the Lord showers me with His abundant grace amid my blindness.) Bitterness leads me into dark corners that dim the light I have been created to share. It binds me, pins me and creates a hopeless cloud of sadness.

And I know that my God is anything but the author of hopeless.

I have He who conquers all within me. Who takes my hand and leads me to something stable and wonderful and motivating:

Consideration.

When I consider rather than compare, my heart becomes rooted in contentment and my hands become covered in compassion.

That’s the work of the Spirit.

He is not, as we in our humanity sometimes believe, a motivator who works through guilt and anger and self-centered thinking.

The Spirit opens our eyes through consideration and discernment to a place where we plainly recognize that the gift is not measured in our want or our excess.

Instead, the gift is in Jesus whose love, forged in want, demands a heart of content and the hands of compassion. 

This is Sara and her three children.  When asked if I could post her status message, Sara said this: Jennifer Cook, you bless me so. It is an amazing God who literally takes away, so He can be more. I am often overwhelmed by the very thought that a brain that so readily loses track of bills, objects and even (bless it) children can be used by the God of the universe to bless anyone. Humbled am I by such a severe and tender mercy that files away a measure of me so that He is praised. Nothing better short of heaven, girl! Nooothing. 🙂

Dear Lord,

May we think like Sara.  May we consider before comparing.  May we always be reaching for your Spirit to enter into our hearts to give us more contentment and compassion.  We do not often know why our life looks one way and another life looks different.  May we instead of questioning, trust you.  As John 9:3b states…”but this happened so that the work of the God might be displayed in his life.”…May the work of God be displayed in her life.  May the work of God be displayed in my life.  Thank you God for friends, family, and strangers who teach us lessons of your love and grace.   AMEN

 

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