Recently, one of my cousins, one not yet 21 and married less than a year announced that he and his wife are expecting a baby due in August. This news stirred up turbulent emotions and disconcerting questions.
I first thought of my grandmother. She always wanted more babies in her life and a year after she died, a new generation begins. That irony makes me smile. Then my thoughts turned negative, turned to the fact that this cousin is the youngest of the eight of us save one. More than once my grandmother bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t made it a priority in my life to find a husband and give her some great-grandkids. After a while, I stopped reminding her that God had not seen fit to have my life unfold that way and that such comments hurt because they implied a lack of care on my part for things that actually matter a great deal.
Insidious thoughts of comparison crept into my mind. What did I have to show for my 32 years on this planet? My cousin at age 20 has a steady, decent-paying, stable job, a wife, a house and now a baby on the way. Me? The most significant thing I own is my car which currently has a left front tire leak. I live in the same house that I have lived in since my junior year of high school. I face stress and uncertainty at my job and frustration that I cannot seem to figure out ways to improve upon or simply navigate through certain things.
THat is a dangerous road to embark upon. Comparison sows seeds of bitter discontentment. I started to think that perhaps I needed to change something, maybe take on more work ,trim my expenses more or do something else drastic so that I could have something to show for what I have done with my life as if owning a house means that you are successful.
These thoughts battled in my mind with the knowledge that God does not care if my name is on the deed to a temporary structure that He actually owns. As I entered the auditorium for church, I felt conflicted; I simply did not understand. In my head, I knew that all the things of this earth that I could own or accomplish have no value yet I still want it; I crave the flimsy accolades of my fellow man.
I even debated whether or not I should write this post. What good would come from wallowing in self-pity with no answers on how to emerge from the muck. I had decided against it until God stepped in and reminded me of the truth.
The second song we sang that Sunday, the name of which I cannot remember, has the following chorus: “Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!” As we sang these words, God opened my eyes. He reminded me of things I knew intellectually before. He helped me believe that He is all I need. I do not need home ownership or a husband or children or the accolades of man. Everything else I could list here pales in comparison to the incomparable glory and total need satisfying glory of God. He really is all that I need.
So, my original question remains. What have I done with my life? Nothing. I never could and I never will. God has control of my entire life for the good of His glory.