I don't know about you, but I know what it's like to feel alone, even in a crowded lifestyle. I know what it's like to stand back, look around, and wish the joy that seemed evident in others, would also burst out of me.
Was it confidence they had?
Was it power?
Was it conceit?
Whatever it was, my heart yearned for it.
We humans often live with a sense of incompleteness. We're always after something we don't have, and the grass seems greener on the other side. We want it; we just don't want to be in charge of the maintenance. Green grass takes work. We choose to simply admire it from a distance.
But what is it we truly want? I can honestly say there have been times I have no idea what it is. Yet there weighed down on me a sense of incompleteness.
All of those achievements- all those things others dared to do- they taunted me. I wasn't courageous to even take the first step! How could I ever expect to accomplish anything? I settled on my mind that that's just how things were, and nothing would change because I wouldn't change.
Then, I met Jesus. He showed me the green grass on the other side. Then He showed me the ground I stood on; dry, and hardened. He began to work. First, He saved my marriage. Then, He lifted me out of the pit of despair. Though the struggles will never be completely gone, I began to see the ground on my side with anticipation of what God would do.
I admit there were times I glanced at the other side, again, but God remained the hope of my heart. The seeds His Word was planting in me were often taken, stepped on, and forgotten. When the rains would come, there was no seed to soak it in, and grow. Instead, it would leave a mess behind; a mess of insecurities, inadequacy, and unfertile soil and regrets.
Still, God didn't give up on me. He continued working on me.
He watered, and nurtured.
He guarded the vineyards.
Even in my struggles, I often heard others' stories of tragedy, hardship, and triumph, and would pray for them, realizing that if I was on their side, my grass would seem greener. We often spend so much time admiring the grass on the other side, we completely miss the opportunity to enjoy ours.
Perspective. It's an interesting thing.
To you, someone else's grass might seem brighter and better; to them, an illusion, a temporary cover-up of their own insecurities or lost and godless lifestyle.
Who defines success for you? Is it the world's obsession with wealth and recognition? Or God's plan for us to live a godly life, while completing the work He gave us? Don't envy the sinner. Pray for them, and reach out with the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Our mistake is looking around, comparing what we have accomplished, and what we need, to what others have. We must look up to get the right perspective and guidance. Don't be afraid to look down at the ground you stand on. Whether you like what you see or not, God is not done with you. He wants you to focus on His truth and standards.
Do you have (or wish you had) a ministry, business, or some kind of project on your hands? There is much preparation that is involved, but if God is in the plans, and it's what He has called you to do, you can be sure that with His help, your hard work and dedication, you'll be able to make immediate changes in attitude, habits, and actions that will help pave the way to the right kind of success.
Even if we're not taking part in something that reaches our communities directly, our homes, our emotional well-being, and our outlook in life through godly lenses will benefit when we decide to let go of worldly definitions. Grab hold of God's. Learn them, believe them, live them.
The truth is, if we could see through to the roots and stories behind those gardens that seem to sing of their greener fields, we wouldn't want them, anyway.
No, beloved of God- you were born for such a time as this, and for such a field as your own.
Perhaps you got where you are by your own poor choices, mistakes, or decisions. God still made provision for that, and He's still holding the plow. Let Him work. He will never disappoint.