Sunday, June 30, 2013


5:25 p.m. Today's project was to own up to twinges of jealousy I've felt in the last month or two.

Normally, the Lord has gifted me with the ability to be genuinely happy for others, and I am, because He has saved me to eternal life, blessed me with an incredible family, loyal longtime friends, productive work and Spirit-led ministry. Best of all the gifts of this life, Jesus gave me 31 years of love from a godly husband, my Steve, who passed away January 1 of this year. Our 32nd wedding anniversary is coming up in eleven days.

As a suddenly single person, I've not spent much time--except at first--envying couples in the prime of life, because even though Steve was unwell for the last year and a half of his life, we enjoyed lots of fun together from the time I retired in 2009. The Holy Spirit wordlessly comforted me by reminding me that I had much more to be grateful for, in all honesty, than to be sad about. That is why He is called the Comforter by Jesus in this promise in John 14:25-27:

These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,  He will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all things I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Practical matters of settling Steve's estate, Social Security and life insurance; and addressing neglected areas of our property have consumed these 6 months, along with my children and grandchildren living with me here in the house. My oldest son's family, and my older daughter and son-in-law live in neighboring cities. I've formed active daily routines and worked my Mary Kay business successfully, without anxiety about daily provision, safety, or having to do all of the household chores myself. Major repairs have been undertaken by my sons and sons-in-law, for which I thank the Lord.And even the dogs have a new pal in my 15-month-old grandson Clark! Our adorable 3 week-old grandson Desmond is battling back from meningitis and is improving daily, may God be praised!

But we know from I Peter 5:8, that 

our adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

And if the devil can cause me to focus on what I don't have rather than on the wonderful things I do have, I will be devoured by envy and bitterness. I would be indulging myself in sad, shocking and ungodly attitudes, not to be named among us as believers!So I do what James recommends in 4:7:

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

But temptations are always with us in this earthly life, just different temptations beset different people!

Lately, I realize that the temptation to envy now hits me when I see very elderly couples like the Smiths whom I spent time with yesterday, delivering product to the wife Nancy. They bantered, bickered, teased and praised each other with loud, even boisterous voices, much to my delight. The husband whipped out of his wallet honeymoon  pictures of his wife in her 40's style bathing suit, and a picture of himself as a skinny kid in uniform just before the start of World War II. The wife kept saying that he was deaf, but he totally heard everything we said--or if he didn't he just kept on with his line of chatter.I hadn't laughed out loud to that degree since our grandson came down with meningitis last Monday.The Smiths really lifted my spirits.

God bless the elderly couple I saw inching along last Thursday afternoon in the Stater's parking lot in Mentone, holding hands, or probably holding each other up, holding on for dear life. Steve and I held hands whenever we walked together anywhere, from our dating days onward. I felt a twinge of sadness for what would never happen for me again with Steve in this life, but the Holy Spirit reminded me that he is healthy and whole, and the happiest he's ever been, living in heaven now.  And I am happy now, too, in the life He has designed for me. I pray a blessing on those couples I see for setting such a wonderful example to their families and the world at large. That's "Love for a Lifetime," as Dr. James Dobson put it. 
Whenever I am at a momentary loss as to how to think or pray, I rely on the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to keep my mind and heart in the place of gratitude where God wants me. I'll close with Romans 8:26-28:

...the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

   And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and who are the called according to His purpose.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes. When I was widow I went through those emotions and then tried to find another husband on my own. I then had heartbreak on top of grief. My counselor pointed out that I shouldn't be in a hurry to find a husband and I got to the point of letting it go. "I have learned in whatever state I am" from Phil. 4:12 is surely a process throughout the Christian life.

    From that perspective (and yours here) I relish every day with my husband. Others feel sorry for me because of his Alzheimer's, but, like you, that bond is so precious.

    Hugs and prayers,