I know that I’ve been absent. It isn’t that I’ve taken a vacation from writing, but yes, it’s been sporadic and on a more personal level (journaling for self-reflection). I haven’t even looked at my blog in a year, I think, and it’s been good to pull it up today and see how life goes: we continue to struggle over the same old things while finding ourselves having moved from one problem to a new one.
Bitter, much? You may be wondering. No…I’d argue that I’m realistic. The fact is that we sinful human beings live on planet earth, which isn’t perfect, and contains nothing (and no one) perfect. Everything good comes with something bad, and vice versa. In reflection, I often must roll my eyes at myself for having been jealous of someone else’s situation. WHY did I think that their good/bad would be better for me than my own?
YES. This is the situation. Nothing here on earth is 100% good or ideal. While someone may seem to have the ideal job and be completely ecstatic, we must not be fooled by facades or the small snippet we see. We must keep in mind that EVERYONE has problems that come from even the best parts of their life!
Sometimes people jokingly say that they’d trade their problems for someone else’s. I may have fleetingly wished I could, but when I really pause and think this through, would I rather trade my bathroom with the moldy wallpaper for a chamber pot or outdoor facilities? Um…just one example where the answer is clearly NO.
The devil is very sneaky. He sure knows how to manipulate our happiness and twist things around until he can find a little pinprick in which to sneak a claw. He wiggles and wiggles until quite a hole has developed. Our happiness may have stemmed from God-pleasing sources, but all of a sudden there he is, mixed among it, tainting it.
This applies to any facet of life. Is it wrong of me to exercise? Of course not. One reason I want to do so is because I recognize that God made my body and I feel that it’s my way to say thank you to him when I take care of it. Also, when I am in shape I find that my moods are more stable and I have more energy to see to the tasks my family requires of me. Yet the devil can get his hooks in. He can tempt me to be really crabby until I get my workout. He can mess with my head about why I’m trying to stay in shape (does it MATTER how I look in those jeans? No one would go to my funeral and say, “She sure looked great in her jeans.” Even IF they thought it, it would not be the part of my life that mattered enough for anyone to recall…so for me to allow my entire day to revolve around a workout or what I wear is just sad and foolish…and if that was the most memorable facet of my life, then how superficial have I become?).
I wanted to be part of the fitness industry (a lot has happened since I last blogged…I am now a certified group fitness instructor!) because I love to exercise and I want to share that with people. I want to help people love to care for their bodies. I want to be alongside them as they get stronger. I want to be motivating, encouraging, and let the light of God’s love shine through me even as I do activities not directly involving God’s Word, so that even if I’m not uttering His name they can’t help but SEE the joy in me and wonder what it’s source is, and keep coming back until they know. I want everyone I come in contact with to know the reason for the joy I have!
But I seem to keep squelching that joy! I keep letting Satan hide it under a bushel. NO!!!!!!!! God, help me fight back. I may work hard to be strong, but without strong faith I am a feather in the wind. Be my rock, Lord, my immovable foundation! I know you’re there. Cling to me. Please, fill me with a desire to be immersed in your word…reading the Bible as I find moments (or make time to do so), listening to music with Scriptural encouragement, listening to sermons and services rather than home improvement shows (that leave me feeling discontent with my home)…Help me Lord. Fill me up! Thank you for opening my eyes to see that I should not be jealous of other people’s lives since they, too, have good and bad. Thank you for the life you designed for ME. Help me be thankful even as the bad comes with the good. I know you’ll work it all for my eternal good. Thank you, gracious Father!