I'm 25. If you are 25, you have been 25, or know anybody that has ever been 25, we can probably all agree: it's a unique (read: weird) season of life. As close as you are to 30 as you are to 20 - seemingly, as far as the east is from the west - and you've kind of got things figured out, but not a lot, and the more you figure things out, the more you realize you know absolutely nothing and everything is really expensive and how would I ever know the different between a Roth IRA and a standard IRA without the help of my dad. You hear what I'm sayin'?
It's a peculiar place, too, because it seems as though, at 25, life seems to be moving just a little bit more smoothly for everyone else. Maybe, like me, you are trying to figure out if this current job is even going to be enough for another month let alone another 10 years, and you're single and both your sisters have talked marriage with their boyfriends (and maybe, like me, you're the oldest of the three), and your best friend and her husband are pregnant and things just aren't working out the way you planned they would at 20 years old. But then, just as you are settling into a God-given peace about your messy, unpredictable current state, you receive unsolicited commentary from strangers, family, or friends. I was getting a manicure with my mom over the weekend, and the manicurist asked me firstly my age, and then followed up with "Are you married" and then "why not?" as a response to my negatory. Instincually and not intentionally, I shot her a look that might have been a profanity had I put it to words, but instead responded, "Oh, I don't know. Not the right time, I guess".
And my answer was honest, because, really, I don't know. If I did know, I'd do something about it. I don't know the mind-workings of my God. Though the mystery is the most achingly beautiful thing, it can also be frustrating and quite painful. Recently, for me, it has felt like: what have I done wrong? If I had done better, would those blessings be mine, too? and even worse: has my God forgotten me?
Let me be clear: this heartache of mine as of recent hasn't been because I am actually upset with my life, or because I think God hasn't been exceptionally generous toward me time and time again. Deep in my fleshly heart was a fear brewing, prompting the grotesque lie that all these good and wondrous and pivotal moments in my friend's lives meant there wasn't enough to go around, as though God's resources to bless are limited. My aching was rooted in fear of a impoverished future. I'd been feeling frustrated and impatient with my emotional state, wanting so deeply to rejoice with those who rejoice, because so many people that I love right now are rejoicing. But, here's the thing, says God: perfect love casts out fear. I couldn't change my heart by commanding it to feel differently (I tried). Instead, God asked me to love my friends wholeheartedly, without abandon, and that lightbulb moment was exactly what drove my fear headfirst out the window in an instant. Loving these people, right now, looks like praying for them and celebrating them and truly believing and expecting the absolute best for them.
Yesterday, in listening to an old message from John Mark Comer's God Has a Name series, I heard something that struck me: if your heart posture is off, the worst thing that can possibly happen to you is God gives you exactly what you want.
Being blessed in the same way that my friends are being blessed right now wouldn't make me a more faithful disciple of Jesus. It wound't do anything good for me. It would destroy me. That's how good God is. He knows me and He loves me too much, for Psalm 84:11 says the Lord is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.