I know, I know. So does everyone, right? But I feel like I struggle with it more than most.
I envy what other's have. I see my friends with nice houses, buying even nicer houses. And here I sit, stuck in my tiny townhome with a tiny back yard that I can't even plant a tree in. I want a bigger house. I want their house. I want their trees. I want their multiple bathrooms and their giant kitchens and their spacious bedrooms.
I see my friends with fancy toys for their kids. The walk-in closets filled with dress up clothes for their little girls. The shelves lined with every princess doll ever made. The play equipment in the backyards for the kids to climb on. (Note what I mentioned about my tiny backyard and the lack of trees? This applies to play equipment as well.) The motorized "toy" vehicles with yards large enough to warrant them. Our yard is not large enough to warrant a bicycle.
I see my friends taking wonderful vacations to exotic locations. I see my friends with swimming pools and large screen televisions and beautiful furniture and trendy clothing and fancy jewelry and magazine worthy home decor.
I see my friends pregnant with their third, fourth or fifth child and I cry myself to sleep at night.
The jealousy bug bites.
It continues biting until the very life flowing through my veins disappears. I feel I just cannot be happy unless I am them. If only I were my friend Lucy Lu who has the perfect children who never misbehave. If only I had a large house like Sally SoHo so I could invite the Sunday School class over for a BBQ. Sheesh! If only I knew HOW to BBQ. Maybe my gas grill just isn't large enough...or fancy enough...of maybe I just don't have enough of the right cook books.
And I cease living in the Joy of the Lord. He no longer is my salvation. I think these other things that everyone else possesses will be my salvation. I think their material blessings should have been given to me because then I would be happy. I dig myself down deeper and deeper into the pit of discontentment where the Jealousy Monster lives, ready to devour me alive.
And devour me he does. Head to toe. Until I am a miserable mess, left with no friends because who wants to stand by someone being eaten by the Jealousy Monster. They flee for fear of being eaten themselves.
Did you catch that last verse? Verse 21? Here let me write it again. I love how the NLT words it.
And just where are the desires of my heart at this moment? Not in heaven, I can tell you that. They are at my friend's house. My heart is sitting in their living room, wishing it were mine. My heart is on Facebook, looking at those photos from last summer, wishing I were in them. My heart is anywhere but heaven where it should be.
And that is why I am not receiving the desires of my heart. I am desiring the wrong thing. I desire the material possessions God has blessed others with instead of desiring that which He has already given me. An eternal home in heaven. With Him. For FOREVER. A home that will never need dusted. A home with a toilet that never clogs or breaks. A home with a coffee maker that doesn't need descaling every 60 days. A home that will never decay or rot. A home that will be everything my little heart desires.
And I can store up my treasures there. I can actually earn treasures. Treasures more valuable than anything I could buy or own on earth. REAL treasures that will never fade or rust or be stolen.
So, I begin the process once again of re-evaluating my heart's desires. Shifting my focus. Checking my storage facility and making sure it is in heaven where it belongs. And someday, when I arrive, I hope I hear the words, "Welcome home my dear child. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!" (Matthew 25:23 NLT)