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I’m a first-class worrier! Ask me how I’m doing, and I can prattle off a long list of problems I’m facing, challenges I’m tackling, how busy I am, how tired I am, how overwhelmed I am… Poor me, poor me. I was having one of my ‘I can’t cope with this; the world is falling apart; how will I survive?’ moments, when a very wise and loving friend offered to pray for me.
Isn’t it nice when someone is happy to see you? Every time I turn my key in the lock I know as soon as I open my front door, I will be greeted with tail-wagging excitement by our family dog, Tucker.
God sent Moses with the command that Pharaoh “let my people go.” When Pharaoh refused, God brought ten plagues on the land of Egypt. Hebrews 11:28 refers to the tenth and worst plague, which was the death of all the firstborn in Egypt on the night of the very first Passover, “By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.” This refers to the instructions God gave the Israelites to sacrifice a spotless lamb (“without blemish”) and mark their doorposts with its blood. When the Lord’s “Destroyer” passed through the nation, He would “pass over” the households that showed the blood. The lamb’s blood saved the Israelites from the plague and spared the lives of their firstborn children.
I reflected with this friend that I lament the loss of the skill of map reading. To me, it goes to the wayside with a number of other skills that are no longer relevant or necessary to get through any particular situation or circumstance. Simple skills like focusing a camera, using a phone book (or directory assistance), writing a letter and sending it to a loved one, or, again, reading a roadmap to complex skills like folding a roadmap.
But God’s desire is not for us to compare. His word tells us to be happy where we’re at, to be content with what God has given us and what He has taken away. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (Philippians 4:11-12) His desire is for us to be joyful and content in every aspect of life. But why is it so hard? If you’re anything like me, those little devils of comparison chirp their discontent ALL DAY LONG. “Your house could be cleaner. You could be in better shape. You could be a happier mom. You could read more books. Your hair could be prettier. You could be more charismatic, because you’re socially awkward.”