Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day Eleven: Enough to Go Around

Have you ever looked at someone who has what you want most in life and thought, "Really, God? Her, but not me?"

I'm sure you never have. It's just me who goes to that place of despair and ugly hopelessness, certain that if someone else has the success, the relationship, or the children I long for, then there's none left for me.

The good news is, when I get in this headspace, I'm wrong. Not "wrong" as in, "My, Trish, that's not a very nice way to look at things..." or "Wow dude, that's, like, unspiritual..." But "wrong" as in, "That's simply not the truth of the situation."

Here's the truth of the situation: Anytime I see someone else walking around with something I'm praying for, it's fabulous, encouraging news. It means that God is still into making cool things like that happen for people; evidence that my prayers could be answered in the tangible way I hope.

I was reminded of this over the weekend. I was at a writers conference, and met a rising-star author who (and this is where you can feel free to say, "Wow dude, that's like, unspiritual...") I fully expected to dislike. I'm not sure why... I guess it's because her writing is so good. Disliking her was the last defense I had against the ugly truth that her success made me feel bad about myself. But she won me over: she was lovely and gracious, funny and humble.

This morning when I got up, I felt God say to me, "Pray for her..." Not as penance to atone for my own lack of graciousness, but as a reminder that her success is proof that God makes things happen; he answers all sorts of prayers, in all sorts of ways. So for today (and probably a good part of tomorrow), I'll be thanking God for making that author's book such a break-out hit, praising him for doing such excellent work, and asking for even more blessing for her.

Try it with me, if you want. It's a little hard to get going, but so far, it's made for a pretty sunny morning.

Here are today's verses from Psalm 119.

And today's song: Breathe by Michelle Branch. I just like it :)


Natasha said...

Wow, I will join you in praying for other people's sucesses, I guess I am guilty of thinking others (cough*socialites*cough) do not deserve what they have. I am going to start this very moment and pray for them all day...okay I guess I could pray for them everyday as long as I remember :)

Gretchen said...

I really love this post. I am SO GUILTY of doing this. I end up feeling like there's not enough for everybody, as if God is limited in His resources, and He's being stingy with me. I like your solution, too. For me, it's also admitting that I have that awful picture of God being stingy and not having enough, and shifting to the truth, which is He has all the resources in the world, and here's the proof of His abundant and generous heart.


Sarakastic said...

Glad I'm not the only one who has thought this before

Liza said...

I'm guilty of doing this too. What a great way to turn the picture around. I love the idea of praying for others who have what I dream about. Thanks for reminding me that God has unlimited resources.

Nic said...

Oh I can't tell you how many times I've thought that and retreated back to my unhappy, unlucky, unloved self. I needed to read this today.

Larramie said...

There's enough GOOD for everyone to enjoy.

Kim said...

Right there with ya, Trish.

It's hard to feel happy for others when they seem to have what you want. But surprisingly, there are people who desperately want what we have too. Silly, isn't it?

I'm praying, I'm praying.

Suzanne said...

Just this morning I was praying that God would give me a 'lottery' moment, those lucky breaks that seem to happen to others. So I'm going to keep this in mind, they're really is enough to go around, God's goodness is limitless.

In today's Psalm, at first I honed in one a verse about being so tired I needed God to strengthen me. Instead, I chose this one:

"I recounted my ways and you answered me, teach me you decrees."

I'm stepping out in faith that God will indeed answer my prayers.

Katie-Kate said...

Yeah! I say that a lot to God too. I say: "Really God? Are ya kiddin' me? Her and not me?" Thanks for the perspective.

Stephanie said...

I so do that! I'm glad I'm not the only one. Our pastor always reminds us to pray for the people who are the hardest to love.

heiress said...

It is so easy to get jealous of others especially when they have exactly what you are praying for. But i like when said that it is proof that God answers prayers. I also strongly believe in praying for others, it is good for the soul, I get happy when I see good things happen for good people.

Patti said...

i was reminded yesterday and all throughout my 2 hour run this morning that when we are engaged in embracing God, forces outside of Him will continuously tear at us and try to make us feel/behave/believe the exact opposite of what we are attempting to embrace.

i was reminded that I was fasting from unbelief just as I had started to disbelieve.

may we all recognize that this journey isn't easy. if it was, well, why travel the road at all?

ForstRose said...

v 49-50 stood out to me in reading this passage. "He causes us to hope on the word to us (His servants), it is to be our comfort in affliction. His word gives us life."
(Paraphrasing from the NKJ)

Things may not be easy but I have found that my toughest experiences are also the ones that grow me the most. As for praying for others I like your idea too. I am OK at praying for my friends and others I know when they ask for it and for what they ask prayer for but praying for unknown requests is hard for me to remember that God knows what the situation is and what is needed as well as being able to provide it. I had to do just that this week and adjust my thinking from why bother when there's nothing specific to ask Him about to He knows and cares and can provide whatever it takes to get her through whatever all she asked is for me to pray so I need to ask Him to handle it and He'll do the rest without me needing all the details.

Also praying for continued blessing and praising Him for His faithfulness and blessings to others instead of the usual mode of competing to out do the Smith's which is the cultural norm makes a good exercise in contentment as well. Not to not expect His blessings for ourself as well but to stop focusing on what we don't have and recognize what He is capable of and that what He has in mind for us will be as much a blessing for us as whatever someone else has that we wish were ours even if our blessing takes a completely different form.