26 Oct Finding Joy in Other’s Blessings
The struggle is real
“Surprise!” We all woke up and escorted Sweets (our daughter) downstairs to see her birthday decorations and open a few gifts from her brother and grandparents. With each unwrapped item, I could see Sonny’s (our son) growing sense of discomfort.
He appeared uncomfortably happy for his little sister. You know, the way a person looks when their friend gets that new job, car, or home they’d been praying for. He was happy about the new toys they’d be able to play with together, but something was stopping him from feeling pure joy for her. As her excitement grew, he tried very hard to imitate her smile. But, as he walked away, I could tell he was bothered.
I asked what was wrong, but he could not articulate at the time what he was feeling. Shortly after, he began playing with Sweets’ toys. As soon as he was told to leave something of hers alone, he broke out in tears. After talking with my husband, he was able to articulate that birthdays are tough for him. He explained that he enjoys celebrating, but watching people open their gifts makes him feel sad.
It was at this moment that I realized my son was dealing with a spiritual battle and he didn’t know why he was feeling what he was feeling or how to handle these feelings. We prayed, talked about the scriptures, and at the end of the night prayed some more as he shared that he was still struggling.
Yes, part of Sonny’s issue is that he can be a selfish 6-year-old boy at times. But another piece of this was the internal struggle or battle he was having, that so many of us adults often struggle with as well. Since the beginning of time, we’re able to read about sibling jealousy and envy, and how these sinful natures can progress into so much more when left unchecked or not confessed. Now, with ever growing relationships and social media, these feelings extend far beyond sibling rivalry.
Don’t fall into the trap!
In Genesis 4, God warned Cain to turn from his sinful ways, but Cain did not take heed to this warning (Genesis 4:7). I want to encourage you to take heed of God’s warning. Don’t allow jealousy, envy, or lack of contentment to rob you of the future God has for you. Don’t allow these things to steal your joy which is ultimately your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
The enemy would love for you to think like Cain must have thought, that “my feelings of jealousy are normal, and not that serious”; Oh but it is! This is one of the reasons why being consumed by social media can be so dangerous. What begins as innocent admiration, can quickly fester into much more. Before you know it, you are unhappy with your life and the many blessings God has blessed you with.
If this is where you are at or headed, ask God to help you shift your focus back to Him. Back to Him being your portion; everything that you need and more.
Please don’t be fooled by this scheme and lies from the enemy. God loves you and he wants to continue to bless you as you shift your focus. How do you do this? Pray and ask God for His help, and begin to thank Him for everything in your life, big and small. Ask Him for a heart of gratitude extended far beyond one day in November.
When you see someone else being blessed, praise God and know that you are not forgotten. When it gets too hard, cry out to Him. Our Father hears your cries and knows your heart. He knows what we need before we need it. He also knows what we think we need and is good enough to withhold that which He doesn’t deem suitable for us right now.
Have your children ever asked you for something that you knew wouldn’t be a good thing for them to have at the time of their request, or at all? You’re such a good parent you give them a “no” answer to spare them hurt, pain, etc. God is greater than we are, so why wouldn’t he do the same for us as his children? He’s a good Daddy and the only perfect one I know!
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” ~Psalm 84:11AMP
Thank God that He knows what is best. It does his heart good to see us glad. The struggle is real, but God is the realist! Truthfully, I often find myself coveting and lacking contentment in my current season, but I constantly take these things to the Lord and seek His forgiveness. I am so thankful for His goodness and mercy. Trust that He loves you and wants what is best for you. Ask God to help you be thankful the next time you see someone else being blessed and watch Him move.