Much of my younger life was spent desiring things. But not just anything – mostly things that other people I knew owned. ‘If I could just get such and such’ I thought ‘My life would be so much better. Everything would be ok.’ I didn’t just limit this to inanimate objects either: upon reaching a certain age marriage would make my life complete, upon getting married the promise of a baby. All these things I would see in other people and want them, often missing out on enjoying what had been placed in my hands.
When it comes to changing myself, this greener grass view stunts my growth too. I look to heroes of the faith, both celebrity and just my personal heroes and I try to emulate them instead of Jesus. And when I fail to do so (as I invariably do) I blame God. ‘If I had their gifts then I would be a much better Christian.’ The Bible tells me that God has let me lie in a green pasture all to myself and I spend all my time looking at how green everyone else’s pastures are.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Sounds great – but what about those legitimate times of feeling the grass is greener for others? How can I be comfortable in my pasture of infertility when plenty of other couples are with child? Well, it’s not always easy, but I am coming to see that the pasture God chose for me is the only one where my soul will be restored, the place where I will not be in want. The place where I will truly change and grow in the ways I desire. The grass may look greener in the neighbouring pastures, but in my pasture it’s exactly as green as I need it to be.