I’m learning to avoid the comparison trap.
I am still adjusting to this stay-at-home-mom gig. This wasn’t part of my plan. Nor was the unexpected illness that put me here. It’s been thirty-four months and eleven days since I was medically forced to walk away from my career as a pharmacist. One would think by now, I would be adjusted to my new role, but I still struggle.
Finding contentment in this new realm is my struggle.
This summer, my neighbor had her backyard excavated to make way for an in-ground pool. Meanwhile, God excavated my heart to make room for contentment.
Per instructions by Priscilla Shirer in her book, The Resolution for Women, I scribed these words on an index card and attached it to the front of my fridge.
In my desire to find contentment, I began with a simple prayer: “Lord whatever my hands find to do today, may you look upon your servant and find me faithful. Amen.”
Later, I simplified this to a four-sentence prayer: “Lord, find me faithful.”
This prayer is based on these verses in the Old and New Testament:
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV)
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24, ESV)
When I pray, “Lord find me faithful,” it helps me put on spiritual blinders. Keeping the simple prayer on the forefront of my mind repels my desire for comparison to others. It allows me to remain faithful in my role, where I am, and with what God has provided for me.
The death of contentment is comparison.
During God’s summer excavation of my heart, He showed me two passages in the Bible where the main characters felt unequipped and unqualified in their role because they were comparing themselves to those around them.
Gideon the weakest in his clan hid from the enemy. God finds him, calls him a “valiant warrior” and tells him to fight the enemy. “Go in the strength that you have.” (Judges 6:12, 14). Reluctantly obedient, Gideon and his motley crew of a few defeat the enemy in an unexpected way.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7, we meet an unnamed woman who is a recent widow. Left with debts she cannot repay, the debt collectors threatened to take away her two sons. Desperate, she pleads to the prophet Elisha for help. Instead of helping, he asks, “What’s in your house?” She confesses to having only a little oil. Elisha instructs her to gather as many jars as she can from the neighbors. (Can you imagine the humility of having to ask the neighbors for help?) Elisha blessed what little oil she had and the oil miraculously continued to pour until all the jars were full. She was able to pay off all her debt and keep her sons.
What’s in your house?
How can you go in the strength you have to bless others?
In my realm of a stay-at-home-mom, I have the margin of time and rest in my day. This week, God found me faithful packing lunches for my friend and me. In my house, I already had all the fixings for Meg’s favorite snacks and lunch. Going in the strength I had, God found me faithful as I drove my friend to her chemotherapy infusion. We enjoyed our day together as we laughed, cupped mugs of piping hot Starbucks, and shared stories of God’s faithfulness.
Reflecting on the stories of Gideon and the widow woman, ask yourself:
How can you use what you already have to bless others?
What is God calling you to do?
~April Dawn White ©2018
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