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What I Find (Layer after Layer)

I found myself this week feeling a twinge of jealousy. I promise I’m not trying to downplay it. It was just a thought that occurred to me about a friend I have who was radically saved and set free after coming to the end of his rope.

He did any and seemingly everything related to sin, but an encounter with Jesus transformed him.

I, on the other hand, grew up in church. I went to a Christian school and experienced God’s presence and truth all along the way. Still, pain, hurt, heartache built into unhealthy patterns and subtle assumptions about God or deceptions about life.

I guess I was in a way jealous of the clean break. You do all the bad stuff, see how fruitless it is, and move on. I feel like I’m in a slow process of uncovering lies I’ve believed and putting down ungodly thoughts and actions that developed into habits along the way.

Honestly when I had the thought, it seemed innocuous enough. Made sense, so to speak. Later on in the week though, that thought came out of nowhere when I was talking to God about other hurts that needed healing.

Why did that come up? I thought. Then I realized I had to repent for thinking God was unfair. I was essentially the older brother from Jesus’ story of the father and his lost son (Luke 15:11-32).

Why did you let him have a clean break and I’ve been with you the whole time and feel like I’m having to fight so hard…

When I let it go though, I could see the Father at work. He never wanted the pains inflicted on me or that I inflicted on myself; but there He was exposing what the lies were and revealing the truth.

It was as if He was taking layer after layer away; and with every layer I could see more of His faithfulness.

Mercies are available, and they are new every morning. He has never left you, and great is His faithfulness.

Associating “great” with God’s faithfulness feels a little like whoever named the Grand Canyon. Grand certainly fits, but it doesn’t begin to describe what you experience as you stand on the edge of it. It’s truly the same when you peer into His great faithfulness.

Maybe someone needs to hear this today. You may not be angry at the Father like the older son was about his father’s treatment of the prodigal, but maybe you’ve questioned why they seemingly got it easier than you.

In both cases, God is lovingly overseeing the restoration. He’s healing and demonstrating patience, focus, and commitment to you. Don’t fixate on how or when it all happens.

Delight in Him that He’s doing it and He’s with you.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you experienced anything similar to this? What did you do with it?

10 Comments

  1. How and when God works in our lives is different for all of us. I remember when I first decided I needed to go back to church, I still had my doubts about many things. Watching other worshipers who seemed to “have it all together” made me wonder what was wrong with me? Why was I having such a rough time getting into it?
    It wasn’t until I realized I needed to know Jesus personally that things began, thankfully, to shift in dynamic ways. I no longer worry about how others worship; I just want to be close to God
    Blessings, Jason!

    • Great reminder. Any form of comparison is limiting and counterproductive. The only comparison that needs to be made is, “I’m not who I once was…” I’m growing and maturing into the person God intended me to be in Christ. Great thoughts, Martha! Thank you.

  2. Those nasty “what about me” moments will bite ya in the butt every time! Thanks for the reminder brother!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Yule Better Watch OutMy Profile

    • Yeah, there is the tendency to focus on how hard something might seem instead of realizing and rejoicing in the reality that He’s there and He’s moving. You are so welcome and thank you too, Jay.

  3. There are times, Jason, when I feel like I have been left out of something. I grew up relatively “Christian” and always had the Christian mindset in most things. At times I have wondered if I have missed anything. I don’t have a rousing testimony that will bring people to tears. But I am so grateful for what I do have.
    Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..TESTSMy Profile

    • Different feeling that what I’m talking here, but I’ve felt that way before. Part of the devil’s trap is to convince us we’re missing something we need or something that will make life so much better/easier. Like you said, the key is gratitude. Gotta be grateful! Thanks so much, Bill.

  4. There are blessings from God that can’t be fathomed on this side of eternity for running the good race and avoiding the pitfalls. As a prodigal, I can testify to the fact that there are consequences to all things. It’s God’s law. “That which you reap, so shall ye sew”.

    It’s natural to want to have what we don’t in this flesh. If your friend is honest or old enough, he’ll regret of having missed out on the blessings of obedience.

    • For sure. I don’t believe he doesn’t regret doing the things he did or living that lifestyle. It was definitely more about me and my thinking and how subtly I can “accuse” God (for lack of a better word) and think that’s fine. But He pulls me back into His faithfulness! Thank you, Floyd. 🙂

  5. I face those moments all the time. Then God reminds me: “Not everything you see is golden, for every blessing you see me giving another, they often went through hell much worse than you did.”

    • Yeah, I remember years ago reading an author who said that God tends to take his most trusted and blessed servants through the most difficult circumstances so that if people know the full story they wouldn’t envy them. I think about Job. We would all probably sign up for a double portion of everything, but we would be hesitant to sign up for the first part! There are unique walks for each of us and it all leads to trusting Him completely. That’s the key. Thanks Ed.

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