When Envy & Self-Seeking Exist

We made it! I am currently sitting at my in-laws dinner table in Monte Vista, Colorado where we will reside for the next 7ish months. After the longest drive known to man (3 hours longer than the longest time it has ever taken us to get here) and the longest past 2 weeks of packing, cleaning, organizing, being homeless, etc., etc. … we finally made it. I am thankful our arrival brought us into a new month as I can tuck the month of March away and try to only remember it as a distant memory as it was a very stressful month for us.

 I really wish I had walked a different path these past 2 weeks other than the path I walked. In the midst of the stress of preparing to leave our first home and travel to a welcoming place but a place filled with uncertainties about what our future will bring, where we will live and what we will do, I allowed myself to welcome into this path destruction, frustration, anger, selfishness, discontentment, pride, hmmm anything else? I’m sure there are some more descriptive words that aren’t coming to mind right now. I want to sit here and make a list of everything that went wrong and how this process was entirely different than I had hoped for in my mind and try to make myself feel better and give myself a break because of the difficulties that came across our path but I know that God does not want me to do that and for the first time in the past 2 weeks I want to be obedient to what He is asking me to do because I caught a glimpse of the results of disobedience and it was not pretty. There were many times in the past 2 weeks God was asking me to change my attitude, to be grateful for the things He blessed us with over the past 3 years in Arizona and to be hopeful and thankful for the future that is to come, to recognize that God has a plan to bring us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and He wants to be my strength when I am weak (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) and help me get through the stress… but all I wanted to do was wallow in my self-pity and amazement at how difficult this process has been.

 God is clear in the Bible and says “Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:16. This is what I experienced the past 2 weeks… confusion and every evil thing. I made a choice every day to not spend time with God either in prayer or reading His Word because simply put… I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to feel conviction and face the One to whom I was comitting these sins against. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. I didn’t want to have to change my attitude because my flesh and my sin lied to me and told me that it would feel better to be angry about our situation and I have every right to feel the way I felt. Adam gently tried to remind me to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” James 1:2-4. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I don’t care (this was my response and attitude at the time). And in the back of my mind God was gently reminding me to “do all things without complaining and disputing” Philippians 2:14-15. Yeah, yeah, yeah… but it feels good to complain about our situation… to vent about my frustrations. Isn’t it true that sin does feel good in the moment but the consequences and results of our sin… that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you know you did something wrong and embarassed yourself and you wish you could take it all back and do the right thing but you know you can’t… does not feel good.

 I have been reading Proverbs for the past month or so (except for the last 2 weeks of course) and God was trying to prepare me for the challenges to come so I would know to maintain the path of righteousness and not give in to the ways of a fool … which clearly I chose to ignore His promptings. Here are some of His promises:

 “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and PEACE they will add to you” Proverbs 3:1-2.

 “Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be HEALTH TO YOUR FLESH, and STRENGTH TO YOUR BONES” Proverbs 3:7-8.

 “My son, let them not depart from your eyes – keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be LIFE TO YOUR SOUL and GRACE TO YOUR NECK. Then you will WALK SAFELY IN YOUR WAY, and your FOOT WILL NOT STUMBLE” Proverbs 3:21-23.

 As you can see this is a small portion of His promises in the book of Proverbs as these come from only Chapter 3! I wish now that I did not let God’s commands and His wisdom and discretion leave my eyes and heart because if I had held onto them then I know the past 2 weeks would have been far better than they were. I pray that God will help me really learn this lesson and use it for my future trials as they are sure to come.

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