For I was envious of the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psalm 73 spoke to me immediately and loudly. As a student transitioning between high school and college, I've become so much more envious of everyone else. I just go crazy when I hear about people who have gotten accepted to incredible schools and have full rides or outstanding scholarships when I have yet to hear back from many of the colleges I applied to.
I've always wanted to be the best at everything. But, I can't. It's not possible. When I hear about other people being the best, however, I am filled with jealousy. How come I didn't get that opportunity? Why wasn't I accepted at this school with a full ride? Psalm 73:4 says, "They (the arrogant and wicked) have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong." In a way, this is how I feel about other peoples' grand successes. Why should they get this? They have everything!
But, then I realize, no one has everything . . .
Psalm 73:21-22 says, "When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you." This describes me perfectly when I don't get what I want. I get so angry; I blame others. Sometimes, I just ask God, "Why can't I have this? Don't I deserve it?" I know I shouldn't be bitter. In truth, I don't deserve anything, and sometimes what I want isn't what's best for me.
I used to think that the only way I would be happy at college would be if I could go to New York or any other state to study. I would needle my parents and act as if I were entitled to $45,000+ per year tuition fee. My parents would tell me over and over again that I simply could not have it. I have a little sister who will be attending college in the future, and my parents have other obligations; I'm not the only one who matters. I became so angry and bitter. I would pray and ask God to make it possible for me to go to New York. I was so enamored by the thought of attending a swanky college in another state that I couldn't think of anything else. But, God had other plans for me.
One day, I woke up and was suddenly okay with going to an in-state college. God showed me the signs (my mom and dad telling me that I cannot go out-of-state, my time spent at a journalism camp at UGA, and a maturing spirit and mind), and I finally realized that I didn't even want to go to New York for undergraduate school. I want to be close to my family for four more years. I want to be able to visit them. And, I want to be able to see my dog, Jules, more than once a year. The Lord didn't have a college in New York in my life's plan; I need to follow Him and trust in His direction.
Psalm 73 made me realize that while I can't keep up with the Joneses, I have the Lord. He has a plan for me as long as I follow Him. Maybe, I haven't received a full ride to a college because that's not where God wants me to go. Maybe, I can't travel somewhere extravagant each summer because He has something in mind for me to accomplish at home. Maybe, I can't attend college in New York because the Lord needs me to be right here in Georgia just a bit longer.
I shouldn't be envious of other; I have the Lord on my side. He is "the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalms 95, 69 or 73