It’s one of those days when you are feeling a tad bit insecure.
Maybe something is weighing on your mind and after a while you get the gumption to confide it to a friend. She either blows you off completely or looks at you like you have doggy doo stuck to your shoe or toilet paper hanging out of your skirt. Her expression says it all: You are complaining about the most trivial triviality ever.
You think to yourself,
“Ya, I’m pretty much a big wimp.”
Still, you just want to feel understood, like one person on God’s green earth gets you. Or rather, you’d like some validation for feeling the way you do.
But, the crickets chirp and you come up empty and you start to shamefully lower your head and think it really is just you, you’re just too wimpy.
Or too insignificant? In a world where countries are leveled by earthquakes and tsunamis, who really cares about my un-newsworthy problems, anyhow?
Maybe I feel guilty even calling it a problem.
Then the shoe’s on the other foot and that friend wants to share something with you. As she’s speaking, you think,
“This is your problem? Lady, you don’t know the meaning of the word.”
Holley Gerth wrote tremendous words about women’s tendancy to compare problems. While God wired us gals to be relational creatures, the negative side of the relational coin encourages us to compare our problems with others. Holley says:
Your story belongs to you. God doesn’t compare it (or you) to anyone else and you don’t have to either.
In a biblical passage I find a bit funny (it’s okay to think that, right?), Jesus and Peter are having a heart-to-heart. Another disciple walks up and in his typical style, Peter asks, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus has an even better question, “What is that to you?” And then, “As for you, follow me.” (John 21)
So as we write the rest of our stories together (and live them out with others), let’s go for these three steps: share, care, prayer. And skip the compare.”
Share our hearts by opening them to another’s concerns. Maybe we view others’ problems as “no big deal” because they aren’t happening to us? If they were, we might be singing a different tune.
Care about being there for the other person more than the scope of the problem. Besides, only God really knows what’s going on in someone else’s life.
Pray to the One and Only who never fails to understand what we’re going through. If He cares enough to know the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), He cares enough to be there for the big and the “small.”
So go ahead and tell Him all about it. He’s all ears.
And if the God who isbeyond compare does not compare our stories, then we shouldn’t, either.