So… I am a dramatic and emotional person. I just am. Dramatic and emotional in the fact that if I am happy… I’m really happy. If I am angry… it takes me a lot to get there… but I’m really angry. If I am sad… I’m really sad. And… more recently… if I become bitter… I am very bitter.
Bitter just sounds like an awful word. I know it’s an awful feeling. Let me just tell you where I’m coming from because I don’t think I’m the only human that thinks like this.
I tend to compare a lot. I look over here and see so-and-so doing and buying and getting this. I see those people over there not worrying about finances. I hear those people talking about all the trips and things they are planning. I see things happening at that church that aren’t happening at ours. COMPARISON STEALS JOY… FYI. I like to look around… see what other people, churches, families, marriages, etc. look like. And then I look at myself and get so foolishly upset about things… money mostly. I get bitter. It’s not cute. I even feels stupid typing it… I don’t have so I get upset. We aren’t “comfortable” so I get bitter. We don’t look or have like them so I get frustrated… dumb. We work our tails off and are still scrapping by each week. We try to serve Jesus… and we always struggle with money… our frazzled hearts just get bitter. Don’t lie though… you do it, too!
This Sunday all the bitterness and anger (some holy anger… some not) just flooded me. I don’t remember ever feeling that crazily bitter. It was very real. It was strange for my typically joyful heart. A lot of my bitterness doesn’t actually stem from money, but the real reason might offend some people… so I’ll just leave it at that. Smile.
So… I talked to Jesus about it… a lot. He told me to LOOK UP! STOP LOOKING AROUND… LOOK AT ME! Okay…
Sunday afternoon we went door to door to invite people to the Connection dinner that’s happening this Thursday. I kept hearing Jesus say “If you want to look around… look here.” We were in the ‘scary’ part of town. Jesus wasn’t telling me to look around to compare myself to them… but to look because these are the places He wants to be… to go… to minister.
Monday morning… Jesus time. My devo is on Ecclesiastes of all things. You know… the book about ‘I tried working – meaningless. I tried drinking -meaningless. I tried pleasures – meaningless. I tried and strived and did and worried – meaningless.’ Ecclesiastes can seem pretty depressing but wise ol’ Solomon was just trying to say LOOK UP!! If you aren’t serving Jesus for His glory ALONE… it’s all worthless and it will never satisfy… it will always make you bitter. Okay… point taken Jesus.
But He wasn’t done. He told me to go do a word search on the handy dandy Biblegateway.com for the word bitter… Psalm 73 found me and slapped me in the face… multiple times. Read it:
This was/is SO my heart! Exactly like David penned it! I was feeling sorry for myself and then I REALIZED MY HEART WAS BITTER! Ugh… Again… LOOK UP!!! God can satisfy me. He gives me my TRUE heart’s desires. He is my strength and ALL that I need.
God is funny because Monday… I had to LOOK UP! You know I teach a clogging class. I started with 8 girls this year… they kept dropping out for different reasons…dropping with flies… I was down to 2. Recital is in 4 weeks. 1 of the 2 dropped out on Monday. REALLY? Jesus said “LOOK UP!” Because my flesh wanted to compare myself and my class to all the others… you know… the other classes that have 10 girls?? but… LOOK UP! LOOK TO JESUS!
Then… Bible study was Monday night. One of my favorite things in the whole world… teaching about Jesus in my living room to some of my favorite people on the planet. It’s Spring break for some schools and sports are happening and the weather is pretty… people don’t come. We have had as many as 36 girls one night before. We had 5 on Monday. Jesus said… HELLO! LOOK UP! IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! …NOT EVER! And it’s not. It’s really not. He shows up always. He is present and alive with me and him or 52 girls and Him. He is good and He is Teacher. When He wants you to learn something… like contentment and LOOKING UP!… He’ll teach it to you alright…
I believe this following Christ journey that I’m on requires some BRAVERY. And today, this week, this lifetime. I DARE TO BE CONTENT! I DARE to LOOK UP!!!!