That ache is in my heart again, that longing feeling for something. Like the world is going on without me, I’ve been forgotten. I keep striving but my efforts yield no fruit.
This past Sunday in our Sunday School class we learned all about the Ten Commandments, and one really stood out to me. Don’t covet. I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly what the bible says, but you get my point. Lots of the kids kept coming up to me and asking me what does covet mean and over and over again I repeated how God doesn’t want us to be jealous of what our friends have. God wants us to be happy with what we already have — what He has given to us.
It struck me then and there that lately I have a pretty big problem with coveting. I am jealous of my friends who can travel, I am jealous of my friends who are doing awesome in careers I would like, or who are studying for new careers I would like. I’m jealous of those who send their kids to school and jealous of those who homeschool their kids better than I do. I’m jealous of the clothes people have, the way others look, or their ability to style their home in a certain way. The money they make. Ability to balance life. And those are just the first things that come to my mind. There’s probably a hundred other things I’m jealous of that I don’t even yet realize I’m jealous of.
After last Sunday I kept asking myself “why does God not want us to covet?” I know that God doesn’t just make rules to be a rule-maker. I know He isn’t just some power-addicted God who likes to lord himself over us. He is kind, He is loving, He is just. He has a good reason. So why does he care whether or not we are jealous of other people’s stuff? It seems so natural — the grass is always greener. Why does He care?
I think God doesn’t want us coveting other people’s stuff because we totally miss so many gifts we’ve already been given. I’m not very thankful for what I have if I’m always feeling sad that I don’t have this that or the other thing. And if I tell myself that I am thankful for what I have and then feel sad because I don’t have more, I’m just lying to myself. I think that you aren’t truly thankful if you don’t feel satisfied by it. And I think God gives us exactly what we need to be satisfied. I think He actually gives us even more than what we need to be satisfied and my whining and complaining is just a big old slap in the face for all the gifts He’s already given me.
When we covet we basically end up saying that we don’t trust God. And that God isn’t enough for us. We need more than what he has planned for us, we need more than what we’ve been given. And we make an idol of ourselves, saying that we are so important and deserving and entitled. And yet somehow God has forgotten to honor our entitled-ness. Um, hello God, did you forget that I deserve everything I want? And it never ends. I often feel like once I have a certain thing that I want, then I will be happy. And maybe I am for a few days but it sure doesn’t take long before I’m thinking of something else that I don’t have, and naturally I must have it, nay, I should have it, and why don’t I? I should. WHY HAS GOD FORSAKEN ME!?
I’ve been missing the point. My perspective is completely off. But doesn’t the enemy just make it feel so justified? I mean I totally feel like I’ve been dealt a bad card if I can’t do and have all the things I want. Like God doesn’t love me. Like I’m not worth anything if I don’t have certain things or the ability to do certain things. It’s totally such an issue of value for me. It makes me feel like God’s forgotten me, like God doesn’t love me and there’s just not even one shred of truth in that statement. God loves me so much and my entire life is proof of that — the enemy would just love it so much if I felt like God didn’t love me, so I wouldn’t end up loving Him back.
It’s time to remind myself how much God loves me, cares for me, provides for me. It’s time to remember all that He’s already done for me, all that He’s already given me. Once I’ve filled myself up with that truth, I find that I don’t really have room in my cup for anything else I once I thought I needed. I could write a handful of bible verses for you to read but usually that just feels trite or like a pat answer. What you really need to do when you feel this way is just lay yourself low (whether physically or a posture of the heart) and pray. And it’s going to feel weird. And you might not get some answer right away and your coveting may not just immediately go away. Or it might, I can’t say. But usually, if you are consistent in humbling yourself and praying and waiting for God to answer you… that ends up answering everything.