Someone I love very dearly has recently been struggling with their own inability to cover all the bases in their own life and in the lives of their loved ones. It has hit me hard to see this person taking on the blame and sense of failure for not being able to do everything thrown at them and do it all well.
I have often been guilty of the same thing in my younger days. If someone I loved wasn’t happy, it must have been my fault. There must have been something I could have done differently or more of that would make them happy. I beat myself up constantly because the one person I loved most and for which I felt most responsible, just wasn’t happy.
Of course my efforts were futile and were rewarded with betrayal and rejection. For a long time I beat myself up over that, too. Somewhere along the journey I have come to realize that no one can make another person happy except that person. If they are malcontent, critical, unfaithful, constantly finding fault with everyone else besides themselves, never apologizing for anything, always expecting more from everyone around them – there is no hope of them ever being happy until they change the person on the inside of them.
For the people in my circle of family, friends, and acquaintances who are going through trying times right now, I wish I could change their situation. I wish I could be the rainbow at the end of their storm. I wish I could speak the word, “Peace,” and all things in their lives would be set in order, brought to a place of peace and harmony. I wish, I wish, I wish that the good I want for them would come to pass.
It hit me yesterday that if I could do that for any one of them, or if anyone could do that for me, then we wouldn’t need God.
We carry burdens God never intended us to carry. We try to fix things we are incapable of fixing for other people. We grieve over the poor choices that other people make and want to point them in the right direction. Sometimes we even want those we love to change in ways that would make them more like us.
God wants to make them more like HIM.
No matter how much we love someone – parents, children, spouse, friends – GOD LOVES THEM MORE THAN WE DO.
That acknowledgement puts things in perspective.