Welcome to day 3 of Lies That Rob Me of Joy:
4 Lies That Rob Me Of Joy:
- I can earn God’s favor
- It’s greedy and selfish to enjoy this life
- It’s not fair that I would have so much and others wouldn't
- Joy is happiness
A young African man comes to Canada from his desperately poor country overseas. Food and water are hard to come by where he’s from. His family back home is never far from his thoughts or prayers. He accompanies his Canadian friend to one of many grocery stores. He’s never seen one before. His jaw drops as he marvels at sprawling shelves stacked high with food of every kind. Right there in the grocery aisle, his knees buckle and he weeps.
As I push a cart through food filled aisles, I think about that young man and wonder why I have access and others don’t. 'How is it fair that we would have more than enough and others would starve to death by the millions? It isn’t. It can’t be.'
See what happened there? That tiny moment – that small, almost invisible conclusion that ‘it’s not fair’ now unfolds in countless directions. Suddenly I become judge and jury and am obligated to measure everything. If it’s not fair, then I shouldn’t have these things – I certainly shouldn’t enjoy them! Food, water, money, toilet paper, air conditioning, bug spray, dessert, a night at the movies, coffee with a friend …
In a moment, I decided I know what’s fair and good and right. I decided to play God. That’s the lie.
The truth is, that I don’t know anything about justice or what is fair. I don’t understand God’s scales or time.
Shining the Light:
“Do you know the laws of the universe and how God rules the earth?”
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much”
”For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
“He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!”
If I choose to believe that only God knows what's fair, that decision also unfolds in countless directions. Suddenly I find gratitude and humble enjoyment of what I don’t deserve. Suddenly joy and pleasure remind me of God’s grace. It also reminds me to pray for the many who suffer elsewhere. It’s amazing what a shift in belief can precipitate… (of course, it's also amazing how much minute-by-minute work it is to choose to make that shift)
Lord, thank you for the abundance you’ve given us. Forgive me for trying to take your place as judge. I don’t deserve this abundance, but accept it from your gracious hand. Lord, I don’t understand your ways. Help me to walk where you lead – to know you, seek you and trust you even when I don’t understand. Give me faith like a child, Lord. Amen.