I remember sitting in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting several years ago, listening to a fellow leadership team member pray, and wishing I had to ability to speak to God in front of a large group with such eloquence. Her words were concise, yet filled with mercy and love for the mother she was lifting up to her Maker. She did not appear at all nervous or timid.
Every aspect of this mentor’s relationship with God appeared ideal to me. Her faith was strong and her walk was straight. The temptations that pulled at me at every mile marker in my spiritual journey did not seem to be present in hers.
With time, I realized my view of this sister’s life was not only skewed, but extremely limited.
When we compare others lives to our own we view their situation through a fisheye lens, but see ours with the wide angle.
I did not see the trouble she was facing behind the scenes. But it was present nonetheless.
After many years strengthening and growing in life with Christ, I realized that the seed God sends down from Heaven does not change depending who the recipient is. Neither does the sower. The difference is in the soil. (Luke 8)
In Luke 8:8, Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
His word will go out whether we hear it or not. What we choose to do with it is up to us. But it will accomplish his purpose, and the beautiful part is that we have the opportunity to be part of it. (Isaiah 55:11) He gave us a will because He loves us and wants us to freely make the decision to follow Him.
That little sliver of envy I felt for the woman? That was a thorn. They come up in various forms and are filled with deceit. Sometimes it’s jealousy. Other times it’s greed or lust or pride.
My prayer is that I will continually examine my life, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and remove any thorn that threatens to squelch the joy that is only found in the God who created me. The one who made me with unique talents, passions, personality and experience, each interconnected to shape my story and reflect His glory.
May my soil be rich with the nutrients of the Word. May the seed of my God grow deeper each day, so that is immovable by any force that threatens to destroy it.
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