“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
This is a verse I have been thinking about a lot lately. I came across this verse a few years ago when a dear friend had lost her child. I prayed and prayed about what I could say to her to make things “better” and realized that there was nothing. Nothing I could say could make her pain any less. And God gave me this verse as if to say, just weep with her. You don’t need to say anything sometimes, you just need to be there. I found that true in my own life as I went through my own losses.
Recently though, I have been thinking about the first part of this verse and it’s really been difficult to walk out in my own life. Rejoicing with those who rejoice is not easy. It seems like it should be, to be happy for others who are happy about something in their lives, but I find it hard sometimes. Some things you would like in your own life, but don’t have, and then someone else gets that thing and you have to be happy for them. That’s hard!
Why is it so hard? Jealousy? Or is it that we don’t have enough faith that God will have our best interests at heart? I have found this in my own life lately. There are some things that I wish I had that others have and I have to be happy for them, but at the same time I am envious. I will admit. And it’s hard to not be. My flesh asks “why?” and says “it’s not fair” and “I shouldn’t have to be happy for them”, but God’s word clearly says I do. So how do you do that?
I am not sure, to be honest. I have some ideas, but I am still working this one out myself, as I said. Right now I am facing it with a lot of prayer and “putting on my big girl pants” and doing what I know I should do. And most importantly, I am allowing myself to have the faith that God will do His will in my life. That might not be what I want to happen, but it’s what is best for me and usually not even something I could dream up. I am recalling to myself the good things He has done in the past and knowing good things are yet to come. For example, the title for this blog has to do with a story about my past hurts that have turned into armloads of blessings in the form of my 4 boys. I will save that story for another time, but for now, I am rehearsing these things to myself as I take one step at a time, in faith.
One thing I have learned is that life is not fair. We don’t always get what we want and thank goodness we don’t get what we deserve, but God always does what is best for us. And thank goodness he doesn’t listen to my plan, I would have royally stunk up my life by now. I am praying that my heart will change on this issue and that I can not only just DO the things I should do to rejoice with others, but that I will in my heart FEEL happy for them. It’s just pure selfishness that prevents that, I know, but this is me being real about it. I am not there yet, but by God’s grace I am growing towards that.