I look at my neighbor’s yard and then at my own—manicured even luscious next to dry weedy patches of green.
I look at my friend’s house and then at my own—matching decorations and new paint next to dog-chewed furniture and shoe-scuffed woodwork.
I look at her body and then at my own—toned and tanned next to sagging and pale.
The list can go on and on. I am content with my spacious yard and it’s blossoming bushes until I shift my gaze to compare and I come up short. My lovely home, where we raised three wonderful children and a puppy, is marred by the showroom of my friend’s new downsize. My strong, healthy frame is uglified next to the ‘perfect’ body on television. Longing, discontent, unhappiness.
The God who created us and knows us most and best tells us to fix our eyes on him. He calls us to witness his character, his deeds, his power, and his love—in his creation and in his Son, Jesus Christ. When we focus our hearts on God praise is inevitable. Gratitude overflows in our lives and we find a joy no circumstance, no weed, no vericose vein, can dim.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you for your love, your forbearance, your wisdom. I turn my eyes to you and Praise your holy name! Amen.
Psalm 145 (NIV)
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
Fix your eyes on God, my friend. No one else—nothing in this world—will satisfy your longing heart like him!
2 Comments Add yours
Thanks for sharing the all to common issue of comparison and then discontent…our life group is currently working through a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss called “Choosing Gratitude” which, has shown over and over again that when I’m grateful for all that God has given me, comparison flies out the window and covet-ness withers to ashes…gratitude focuses my attention to all that I have been given, and not what I don’t have…incredible…and so I love how you end your piece pointing us to the person who ultimately satisfies and provides everything we need to be completely content at all times, even if our neighbor is so much better or richer or prettier or talented than me…thanks Nicole for opening your heart to all of us – love you
Love you too, Belinda. Thanks for the book recommendation. I read Adorned by DeMoss and enjoyed her insights.