Prince Harry and Mehgan Markel’s royal wedding captivated most of the world. I was no exception.
As I sat in my house alone drooling over the beauty of the whole procession I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was overjoyed for Harry and Meghan. Love is a beautiful gift and I celebrate it wherever it blossoms. But on the other hand, I couldn’t ignore the hard, quiet voice that kept pressing in and interrupting my joy, “what about you? Where is your happily ever after?”
Soon enough I started to feel an incredible self-pity. Who was I compared to the beautiful, elegant, gorgeous, strong and sophisticated Mehgan Markel? I was no one and I was going to die alone. It sounds dramatic, I know, but it was real and it was painful.
Sometimes comparison sneaks up on me; at least this is what I tell myself.
But, the truth is comparison sneaks up when my faith in a God, who is sovereign over all, wavers.
There is never a time when God is not God and if that truth was fully settled in my heart, I would have less of a hard time with looking over other people’s fences. Because what comparison really says is that God is doing more for that person than He is for me.
And sometimes this may be so because of how that person responds to God, and even then, that is between that person and God. Also, appearances can be deceiving; this is why God admonishes us to judge according to righteous judgment and not according to appearances (John 7:24).
Every single human being has been a recipient of God’s goodness whether acknowledged or not. And comparison is a type of judgment – a judgment on ourselves, the people we are comparing ourselves against and most importantly, it is a judgment on God Himself.
It calls Him into question for how He chooses to distribute His gifts and blessings. James 1:17 reminds us that “every good and perfect gift comes from God who doesn’t change like shifting shadows.”
God is constant, which means He doesn’t play favorites nor does He play with our emotions let alone our lives. He can be trusted to give us what He deems fit for the purpose He has created each of us. No two lives are the same.
As humans, it is hard for us to see and accept this. To accept it entails accepting that in reality, some will have seemingly harder or easier lives than others, some will find the love of their life while others may walk through this life alone. These are hard things for us to grapple with but God is good even when we don’t understand His choices.
Learning from comparison
A few months ago, as I struggled through an unexpected loss in my family, John 21:22 came alive in a way it never had before. Christ, in answering Peter’s question about what would happen to John, points him to where his focus needed to be – on following Christ and not wondering how God was working with John.
This hit me hard at the time because it brought home the fact that God deals with each of us individually and personally so judging our lives by someone else’s is not only unwise (2 Corinthians 10:12) but it is also not based on truth.
The point is not that we will never feel envious again (we must constantly work to have our hearts changed and faith strengthened, of course) but we are to use those moments of envy as opportunities to praise God for the goodness He works in other people’s lives, as opportunities to be happy with other people and to delight in God’s goodness.
When we willingly and conscientiously direct our hearts and minds this way, we come to see that the grass is always greener where we are because God is with us. My prince may never come but I know that whether he does or doesn’t, God is good and everything He allows in my life will work out for good.
This is true for you too.