One day, I had a dream in the day, maybe it was a vision or an imagination, or a subconscious thought:
I am running a race but at a leisurely pace because I tell myself to take it easy and not get stressed. So I take a break and rest on the green pastures. The rest is nice and relaxing, but I look back and noticed all the mistakes I made. I try to tell myself all the things I will make right the next time but I can’t seem to stop rehearsing the past. Finally I look up and I see everyone, even close friends, all running past me. I try to say “Hi”, but they seem to have no time to pause. I’m still resting on the grass and everyone is going so fast. I start to envy their speed, their progress in the race. I also get angry that they are leaving me behind. Then I start to wonder – will I still receive the prize?
ENVY. It was an ugly image of ‘envy’ – growing quietly like a weed, growing quickly. I thought I was just making comparisons or I was just a little jealous. But this ‘weed’ was competing for a space in my thoughts and it was corrupting my heart. It was messing with my mental health. It was time to cut it out of my life. As with any plant, this ‘weed’ has a root. I asked God again and again, what is the root of envy?
God told me but it took a while for me to acknowledge it. The root of envy is ‘fear’.
This ‘fear’ was no stranger nor an unfamiliar feeling. This fear had manifested itself in different ways before:
- fear of letting history repeat itself
- fear of making mistakes again
- fear of never being good enough
- fear of never feeling truly whole
- fear of not being loved
- fear of losing out
Thankfully, where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans 5:20). God replaced that ugly image with His beautiful word:
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.Philippians 3:13-14
Recovery is a continuous journey of discovering one’s true self, healing from hurts and learning contentment. The first thing I did was to start a ‘Gratitude Journal’, noting down once a day for 365 days, one thing I was grateful for. I needed to forget the past, I needed to focus on the present, on the here and now. I’m running a race, a race of His destiny for me, towards my heavenly prize.
God has created new faith pictures of me:
- I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away, all things have become new.
- I have peace with God. Jesus’ love has cast out all fear, even the fear of failure
- I am enough. Jesus is my more than enough.
- I am the righteousness of God through Christ. Jesus has forgiven my sins.
- I am God’s beloved. He is my good father and and His love endures forever.
- I can tap on God’s unlimited supply. He supplies all of our needs.
There is a prize for everyone – there is a prize for me.
But like a weed, if you’re not watchful, envy can start creeping back in again. Only ‘hope’ can cut out fear and anxiety and bring forth LIFE:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out it roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of the drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.Jeremiah 17:7-8
There is hope. There is life. A life that is not struggling and striving with envy but living and thriving with hope. Green might be the colour of envy but green is also the colour of HOPE.