“You shall not covet. . . anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20: 17).
I think I know God’s commandments well. Recently I found myself in the book of Exodus and this word–anything–stopped me in my tracks.
I had to acknowledge how often I covet the lives of friends who are not afflicted with chronic pain and the various physical challenges it brings.
On one level, this ache is a grieving of the “me” that no longer exists, or no longer is able to express itself in ways once so effortless.
To struggle with this is a given. When it turns to coveting, it can keep me stuck.
In asking and receiving God’s forgiveness, I need His grace to be genuinely happy for my friends. That is what I tell them in person, (or email or via the phone), if they happen to share with me. Inside, I can grieve my losses, but I want to honor the life that God has given them and the fruit of their labors as they abide in Him.
As I abide in God, I need to see with new eyes that what He has for me is equally important. I need His grace-filled eyes, for my vision is very limited. The enemy would whisper, “Oh, God loves them more than He loves you.”
Jesus’ life was filled with suffering. His surrender to God’s plan for Him, makes him available to me. Together we forge out my life as it is to be lived now.
Eternal life is for now, with its deeper reality to come later. God is as close to me now as He will be then, and with grace that is sufficient for the journey we are making together. May any coveting I engage in be for more of him. Then what others have and what they can do, will lose the grip it tries to have on me.
Prayer: Lord, Your ways are a mystery. But it is no mystery that You are deep within, beckoning me to accept the plans You have for me–right now. And I do. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. Since 1983, she has lived with vestibular dysfunction: constant dizziness, sessions of vertigo and related side effects of nausea, balance problems, neck and back pain, visual tracking and eye fatigue. She is a breast cancer survivor having gone through surgery and chemotherapy treatments in 1987-88. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. Do visit her blog at http://lynn-severance.blogspot.com
When you consider how your life has changed since chronic illness entered it, what are the areas where you find yourself in deepest grief and loss? How do you combat that loss without becoming bitter? How had God helped you?
Kathy Troccoli is one of my favorite artists, as I discovered her music in a season when I needed God’s assurance that He knew what He was doing in my life. Lynn chose this video for you of “You’re Still God” and says, “Kathy reminds us of the surrender God asks so that He can unfold his plans, often different that the plans we’d like.” We hope you will be blessed by this song with true heartfelt lyrics. -Lisa