February 26, 2012

apples to apples

A few things to be thankful for today:

1. The smell of freshly cut ginger root. I had never encountered it before this afternoon, when I made a coconut curry soup that called for it . . . it. is. fabulous.

2. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 'nuff said.

3. Brutal spin workout that lasted a full 60 minutes. Bring it.

You know what? When you pray and ask God to reveal Himself, or reveal sin in your life, He usually answers pretty quickly. I can definitely feel when the Holy Spirit is tugging on my heart or pointing to areas that I haven't fully surrendered to God.

I have this lovely habit of comparing myself to everyone else. Especially right now, I find myself comparing what stage of life I'm in . . . not only with friends and co-workers, but comparing myself with where my parents were at this age.

My parents met when my mom was my age, so I think - shoot, this is the last year I have left to meet the right person. Or, I see someone older than me who is still single and I immediately decide that since there are single people in their 30's or 40's, that must be what God has in store for me.

Just today I was thinking about it, and I felt God telling me to stop. Because it's harmful . . . comparison always steals your joy and contentment. It's also unfair - everyone's story is different, everyone's walk with the Lord is unique. What God is providing one person is going to be different than what He's providing and teaching the next person. Life doesn't turn out the way you might expect. And that's a good thing! How boring would it be if at age ____, everyone entered into ____ stage of life at the same time - and life was just programmed, predictable, monotonous?

No . . . God is teaching us different things in different seasons . . . each of our stories are unique and that diversity glorifies God in a way that monotony never could. I need to stop judging what God is doing (and how He will provide) based on what I see Him doing in someone else's life, on what my personal preference/timeline looks like, and what my current circumstances/resources look like. I also need to stop predicting my own future based on . . . well, nothing.

I was encouraged by something I had written in this blog a few years ago . . . when it comes to God's provision and steadfastness. When Israel was wandering in the desert for 40 years, I'm sure they felt confused and lost and as if God had quit walking right beside them . . . but then He says:

"The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything."

Deuteronomy 2:7

“The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son . . .”

Deuteronomy 1:30-31

I feel like that sometimes . . . that I'm just wandering around or I don't have any clear direction. Even when I'm doing everything I know to do and running to Him, I feel uncertain. I need to remember that even in our deserts or wilderness, God is right beside us - and His hand is over us, even when we don't realize it.

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