Every weekday morning the Christian radio station I listen to features Focus on the Family. This half our program is filled with guest speakers from all walks of life. Some are professionals and some are just plain old people. Some are experts in their field, others gained their knowledge through experience and some are both.
This particular morning I tuned in part way into the program. My ears perked up when heard the guest speaker saying something about his son being killed. I didn’t catch all the details because they were explained before I started listening but what I did hear ignited a wide variety of emotions in me.
As this father unveiled the story, it was clear that God had a plan for this man and his family. God was using this tragedy and the obedience of the family to reach out to inmates in prison. My first thought was jealousy. I had a story to tell and I didn’t want anyone else to have the same story as I did.
As I continued to listen, the Spirit touched my heart. He gently opened my eyes to the fact that I am not the first and I won’t be the last parent to lose a child but He also emphatically said “Get over it”. I was then reminded that my story is my story. No one else’s is exactly like mine which means God orchestrated it that way. He has a specific audience in mind for each tragedy and I should be content in knowing I am a small part of His plan. I cannot reach the people this other father can and he can’t reach the people I can. We are a team, working for Christ, to spread His love.
I was humbled and repentant when the Spirit got through with me. My jealously turned to prayers for this man; prayers of comfort for the loss of his son and prayers of continued success as he works with hardened criminals in prison. As Christians we must work together to spread the Gospel. Satan loves it when we argue, are jealous and focus our efforts on degrading others. That gets our attention off the real goal – to show God’s never ending, unconditional love to everyone.
I thank the Lord for this lesson. I’m not the only one in pain. So many others are hurting. Only the love of Jesus can stop that pain, no matter what caused it. I need to focus on what God’s plan for me is and not be concerned about what His plan is for others. Only then can I be the effective tool He wants me to be.