At the end of 2016 I had a light feeling when I thought of the next year. 2017. This is going to be fantastic and hard. But hard in a good way.
It’s really just been annoying. (That excludes any beach time. And Bera turning two.)
I just got back from the hospital for appendicitis. How can one little organ cause such a fuss? I mean, really? A walk to the ER at one in the morning? A ride in an ambulance and overnight in a hospital? Silly stuff.
I was so happy to come home and feeling fine but I could tell my husband was stressed with this job that was supposed to be great. He came home at 9p and I could see the weariness he wore like a coat. I could feel the frustration that made him pound the table. And I walked away to let him be alone and to pray for him.
But, God, this was supposed to be our year! This job was supposed to be the one! I found myself whimpering like a kid: It’s not fair. I thought of people who have careers they love and adore and who are always doing yoga on beaches and Chip and Joanna Gaines and all that life has to offer but was not offering to us.
I usually don’t let myself whine like this to God because immediately the guilt swooshes in and I think OH MY GOSH, but people’s homes are being flooded by hurricanes! People have sick children! My problems, our problems, are nothing, nothing, nothing!
And then of course there is that verse. The one about us having everything through Christ. We are lacking not one thing. But, God, please can I ask You? Why did you make me to be flesh that feels and wants? I know my eternity is going to be great, saved from damnation, in Your lap with no obstructions… but I have some years on the earth that You put me on.
And what am I supposed to think when things are just blah for me but adventurous/fulfilling/exciting/fun for John Doe? Does earthly happiness mean really mean so little to You that You hand it out willy-nilly to your children? (That explains why Chip and Jo got so much.)
So, just this once, I’d like to think about a different verse. The one about Jesus relating to every temptation. That has to include the temptation to feel sad, to wonder why things still feel hard, the bent towards envy.
I like to think of Jesus fighting envy towards Zacheus when He went to his house. Maybe He saw the comfort, the stability, the ease and joy a home brought and maybe he thought, or was tempted to think, Why not Me?
And maybe when He was praying for another way, anything but a cross, He looked at the sleeping disciples and thought I wish life were easier.
This is speculating, of course, but it brought me into Him rather than just feeling guilty about not being happy with salvation and wanting other things, too.
Months ago, before sleep disorder, anxiety, unemployment or appendix, I was walking down the sidewalk listening to a podcast about movies or murder or Richard Simmons and I heard something apart from the podcast and it was this: Don’t measure My goodness in your life by how comfortable you are.
Maybe it’s OK to ask, though, like a kid asking their parents, “Why does Julia’s family get to go to Europe?” And to trust that the answer is not, and will never be, and never ever could be, “Because I love you less.”