"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
In the 1984 movie "Footloose" we enjoyed watching actor Kevin Bacon doing some amazing dancing. The movie was about a teenager who had moved to a new town where dancing was not allowed. He and his friends set about changing the minds of the adults, getting them to understand that young people wanted to dance and have fun.
Interesting fact, Kevin Bacon himself has said, "I can't dance." In large portions of the movie, the dancing was done by stunt doubles. Although that may not be surprising, it is much more fun to envision that he was the one that performed all the fancy moves.
It is easy for us to look at people around us and assume that all is well in their worlds. Certain folks just seem to have smooth lives with everything going their way. They seemingly have no difficulties and it is easy to begin to envy them. But we cannot know all that they deal with and things may not be as wonderful as they appear.
You may be surprised to know that someone else may look at your life that way. You know the truth though. You know what you struggle with each day. How hard you have to work for the money you make. The tears you shed and how you plead in your prayers. Although you may not show it to others, you have days when you wonder how to take the next step.
When God created us, He made us individuals, each with our own talents, gifts, and paths to tread. His perfect plan was for us to come to Him, accept Jesus as our Savior and live our lives according to His direction. He knows the hardships we will face and promised to walk with us through them.
When we spend our time comparing ourselves to others we fail to see the blessings that He designed just for us. In coveting the life someone else has we are basically telling the Lord that we disapprove of the work He has done in our own lives.
We all struggle with something. Be it financial, health related, wayward children, addiction, depression, or the myriad of other issues, no one's road is free of obstacles. Those obstacles, though, can drive us closer to Him and reveal His grace and mercy.
No matter how it appears, no one has a perfect life. But we do serve a perfect God who has a perfect plan for you and for me. By staying close to His side, we will experience His perfect love in miraculous ways and become more and more grateful for the path He is leading us down.
May His presence reassure us all as we deal with what is before us.