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An antidote to envy

I was running on Saturday and it was insanely beautiful all around me. The leaves were exploding with color and the sun was streaming through all the branches without leaves. It was unseasonably warm and the river was sparkling. There was a costume party at the pavilion where we had our rehearsal dinner and there were several people fishing. Even the animals were out and crowding the path to sun themselves. I saw three small snakes, several crickets and a few fuzzy caterpillars.

I wasn't having the best run, but my heart was filling up with all of the beauty. I finally slowed to a walk and found myself tearing up as I started repeating to God, "You are good. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places."

I experienced in that moment what I struggle to experience in my daily life. I felt enough before God and my life felt full despite my unanswered prayers and challenging circumstances. I felt completely free from envy and frustration and full of hope, peace, joy and satisfaction with God, myself and my life.

I have been having other conversations with God about hope and desire. I am still hesitant to open myself up to these things because I have known the bitterness of disappointment and unfulfilled desire in the past. I find it easier to function when I cut myself off from desire in areas where I know, or at least I think I know, that the answer is "No". But, I really dislike the cold, numb feeling of my heart when I take that posture.

I am in a season where I am asking God to help me be open to my desires and hopeful as I remind Him of my unanswered prayers. I find it difficult to manage these desires well and I fight off envy as my hungry heart sees other people enjoying what I am longing for. And, I am finding enjoyable connection with God as I depend on Him to help me steward my heart well. As I present Him with each dream and desire and listen for His response, I am finding companionship and wisdom. He also comforts me when I am sad or angry because His answer is "No" or "Not yet".

I was reading the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 this morning. I confess that I have always strongly identified with the older son. I resent God's extravagant love towards other people because I do not understand what is already mine with my Father in Heaven.

"And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.'" Luke 15:31

Our greatest gift and our greatest need are intimacy with God. He is the only source of life and joy. Beyond that, He is incredibly generous and shares everything that He has with us. If I could understand this better, then I think that I could feel satisfied with God more often. I think that real satisfaction is found in the relationship we have with God while we are asking and waiting, not in the answer to the prayer. I want less envy and more fulfillment with God.
Still Counting Gifts:

  • #1032: Indian Summer Weather!!!!
  • #1033: My plan to make pumpkin bars starting with a real pumpkin
  • #1034: A full weekend with friends and family
  • #1035: Finding new wisdom in a familiar book: Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend
  • #1036: Our forest preserve in Fall
  • #1037: My mom's chili
  • #1038: Fish tacos with friends at Bien Trucha in Geneva, IL
  • #1039: How red wine pairs with cheese
  • #1040: Campfires in the backyard

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