“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold; for I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills…surely in vain I have kept my heart pure…” Psalm 73
I have envied the arrogant.
I have thought to myself, “it is in vain that I have kept my heart pure before God”.
I have been angry when it seems that those who shake their fist in the face of God continue to triumph. And their lives seem carefree.
My husband has rheumatoid arthritis and he struggles daily. Two years ago we lost our healthy insurance. If you do not have a chronic illness, then you do not understand the implications of trying to pay for thousands of dollars of medications out of your own pocket. So eventually, you just stop buying them.
But it wasn’t the loss of the insurance that stirred my envy of the arrogant. It was the raise they gave themselves in laying off all of the workers.
And it wasn’t just the raise. It was watching the affect on my family.
And it wasn’t just the affect on my family. It was knowing I had the ability to get a job like the ones who took my husband’s job away.
And it wasn’t just knowing I could get one of those jobs. It was knowing that God had destined my life for a different direction.
And it wasn’t just knowing God had a different plan for my life. It was being torn between obeying God and taking matters into my own hands.
If I kept my heart pure before God, then I would have to stand firm to the call He had placed on our lives. God’s plans are not always our plans. Maybe God’s plans are never our plans. And “I almost lost my foothold”. Have you almost lost your foothold? Have you almost given up on God? Have you almost said out loud that following God is not worth it? Have you already fallen down?
The psalmist said “when I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me” (v.16). It is exhausting trying to figure out why God allows certain things and stops others. In my reflection and meditation, I was reminded of how I must appear to those struggling in other countries. Do they envy me, the arrogant? Do those who are dying of hunger and thirst envy my lavish abundance?
And that is when “I entered the sanctuary of God” (v.17). I fell at the feet of the God who saves rather than at the feet of the arrogant. I gave thanks to Almighty God above rather than praise the works of the wicked below. I marveled at the hand of God rather than the feet who walk on the backs of others.
And I gave glory to the One who carried my cross rather than sit in the seat of His mockers.