I envied someone for their big house, new cars and hot tub in the backyard.
I used to feel so angry towards my friends who were able to afford to be stay at home moms.
I hated listening to people talk about their vacations or what they'd bought at the mall lately, or where they went for dinner the night before.
And those people who made multiple trips to Starbucks everyday? RAWR!
Then I stepped back and looked around me.
Everyone struggles with or carries something.
We're going through a difficult season, there's no doubt about that. I wish things were different or more settled than they are, but that isn't the way it is right now. I have accepted that things aren't what I want them to be.
But they're better than they could be. When I think of everyone I know, there is no one else whose life I wish I had.
While talking about this with my aunt, she shared a story with me that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. I tried finding it online somewhere but I haven't been able to. But I did find this one, and I wanted to share it with you.
A troubled and burdened man prayed and prayed that God would lift his burden. Day after day he prayed that his life would be easier and he begged for God's intervention.
One day, Jesus came to the man and asked, "My child, what troubles you?" The man replied that his life was full of turmoil and that it had become too much to bear. He again asked for help stating that he just couldn't continue to go on.
Jesus, feeling the man's anguish, decided help was in order. The man was so happy that his prayers were about to be answered that his burden already felt lighter.
Jesus took the man to a room and stopped in front of the door. When he opened the door, what the man saw was amazing. The room was filled with crosses; little crosses, big crosses, giant crosses. The man, bewildered, looked at Jesus and asked how this would help him. Jesus explained that each cross represented a burden that people carry; small burdens, big burdens, giant burdens -- and every burden in-between.
At this point, Jesus offered the man the opportunity to choose his burden. The man, so excited that he was finally able to have some control over his life, looked around the room for just the right cross. He saw a tiny little cross way back in the corner. It was the smallest cross in the room. After a bit of thought, he pointed to the cross and said, "That one, Lord. I want that one." Jesus asked, "Are you sure, my son?" The man quickly replied, "Oh, yes Lord. Most definitely, yes."
Jesus turned to the man and replied, "My child, you have chosen your own cross. It is the burden you already carry."
Doesn't that give you chills? I sure got them when I read this.
Our cross feels huge. But is it really? If Jesus were to show us a room like this and told us to choose our cross... would it really be that big in comparison to the others?
Makes me think. And it makes me feel grateful that financial difficulty is all we're dealing with. And to be honest, it makes me want to stop praying for God to remove this from us, because things could be so much worse.
I'm always grateful when something - or someone - gives me a wake up call like this. It's like a breath of fresh air.
Instead of praying for God to take this from us, I'm going to pray for perserverance and provision, and wait patiently (gulp!) for Him to act.
Patience... yeah, I'll have to work on that one...