When I think of what the middle of August should look like, I think of swimming, beautiful outdoors adventures, barbeques, and HEAT. The sweltering kind of heat that makes you want to crack open a cold soda. It’s a welcome time after a long season of cold (if you’re in Idaho, at least). However, this past week I discovered this mysterious place called “the Oregon coast”. Lo and behold, my expectations of sweltering heat and swimming in the ocean were tossed aside, replaced with 60 degrees, ice cold ocean water, and all the fog your eyes can see. Isn’t it mid-August? Why am I cold?
Even in the dead middle of Summer, there are still areas where it is cold. Not new information, I know! It made me start thinking of my relationship with the Lord. Everyone goes through different “seasons” in their life. Seasons where life seems to be smoothly flowing from one day to the next, and seasons where the winter hits: four feet of snow on your heart’s driveway, and you’re late to work.
But then there’s a season like summertime on the Oregon coast: it should be great, maybe even “perfect”, but…it’s not. Yet, everyone around you is having a great summer. You can’t help but wonder, “Why am I in the place that I am in? The people around me seem to be on fire for the Lord right now, why am I feeling left behind?”
Comparison of one’s self to others can be dangerous, and when we look at everyone around us and think, “they have it better”, we can easily find ourselves in a place of doubt and vulnerability; an easy way to allow ourselves to fall into the temptations of the world is to first become vulnerable and to doubt the Lord.
Believers, do NOT be dismayed when the people around you seem to be in a better season than you, and do not compare your own life to that of other fallible humans. Instead, focus on correcting your own walk with God, and look to Jesus Christ as an example of how to live in this world. The Lord knows the heart of every one of us, and like a loving father, He is right beside us to help fix us, correct us, and point us in the right direction to walk.
Trust that God will help you, because God will never leave you. As Paul writes in Romans 8: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”