Why Doesn’t God Give Me What Others Have?
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7
When observing those around us, it can be hard not to compare ourselves to them. We notice most the things we don’t have. The things we do have, we usually take for granted. When our neighbors have something that we don’t though, we experience envy and believe that we should have it as well.
I can remember being frustrated with how God has blessed others. Mired in my own addiction, I knew those who’d received miraculous deliverance from theirs. So, naturally, I prayed for God to take my addiction away as well. I’d read the stories in the Bible about those healed by Christ and I’d heard others share their stories of instant transformation. I felt like God owed me. You did it for them. Now it’s my turn. Do it for me. I want my miracle.
When I didn’t get the easy answer, I became disillusioned with God. Maybe he’s not there. Maybe he doesn’t care. Looking back, I can see that I was simply acting like a toddler, throwing a tantrum when I didn’t get what he wanted. I can see now that God gave me what I needed, according to my specific life problems.
I’ve always just taken the easy way out, looking for the least amount of work I could do to get by. In my first two attempts at sobriety, I did only enough to continue practicing medicine and to keep my family together. I didn’t truly work at my recovery though, and so, I didn’t keep it very long. The third time around, if God had just miraculously delivered me from my addiction, I’d have again, learned nothing. So, God didn’t just take it away. He allowed it to hurt – and it needed to hurt or I was never going to change.
To some, God gives the miracle of instant transformation. For most of us though, he makes us go through the tremendously hard work of putting the old life to death. It’s often only in our life trials that we learn faith and obedience. In our obedience, we find the radical change for which we’ve been searching. If all the difficult things in life were just magically taken away, we would never learn to truly rely on God.
In today’s passage, Paul taught that God gives us grace according to his wisdom and plan. We may not always like it, but God knows what we need. He doesn’t treat us all the same, but he gives us the grace that we require. Our job is to trust his wisdom, learning faith and obedience.