I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33~
IT’S GOT TO BE BETTER OVER THERE!
Why is it we always think we would have it so much better if things were different? If we had a different job, then the work wouldn’t be so hard, or the coworkers would be nicer, or we would be less stressed. If we were married to someone else, life at home would be so much more enjoyable. If we had different kids, then we wouldn’t be so exhausted all the time. IF, IF, IF…..
And we always think someone else has it better than us. Come on now, you know you do! She always has the newest and prettiest clothes. He always drives the coolest cars. They get to take vacations all over the world. If only I had their lives!
Doesn’t sound like a greener pasture, just the green-eyed monster (envy) talkin’!
Well, I hate to break it to ya sista, but God never promised us life would be easy, nor would it be fair.
Fact is, if you’ve ever tried the “greener pastures” you know it’s never as good as it looks. The job is just as hard, if not harder. The coworkers all have issues; some are friendly, some aren’t. The stresses are just different ones. The other husband has his own set of goofy things that will get on your ever-lasting nerve (not you, Tom honey!). And those other kids are absolute hellions when they’re behind closed doors!
Life is usually not as easy or “green” as it appears from the other side, but it can be more joyful and meaningful if you do some things differently.
Here’s where those water and fertilizer analogies come in. Stay with me….
He took some of the seed of your land and put it in fertile soil.
CONTINUING TO DO WHAT WE’VE ALWAYS DONE
If we continue to sow seeds in the same soil we’re living in now (misery, envy, stress, etc.) then we will continue to harvest what all that brings (depression, raging jealousy, sickness, etc.). But, if we change the way we tend to the soil (our hearts), the outcome could be SO different.
If we do jump ship and go to those “greener” pastures, there will be a lot more to do to make things work over there. So, you may choose to stay in your own pasture (you already know the issues there) or you may choose to step over to the other side (new set of issues you will have to learn to navigate). Either way, it’s going to require some work. Put on your big girl panties, pull up your cute rain boots, and get ready to work the crops ‘cause you’re in for a long harvest season!
JUMPING OVER THE FENCE
Let’s say you go over to what you think are greener pastures (that’s what this post is suppose to be about anyway, right?) and in the beginning you think, “Awww! This is heaven. Why didn’t I do this sooner? I love it over here.” Then a few weeks, months, or even years later you realize, “Oh my goodness! This is hell. What was I thinking?” Sound familiar? Uh, huh!
Most likely you went to that greener pasture with the same mindset you had on the other side of the fence (the one you thought was so bad, remember?). You think you’ve changed, but in fact, you’re still sowing the soil just like you always have. You’re going to have to water this pasture more if you want to keep it green and you will certainly have to change the way you fertilize.
When God plants a new seed in us (the desire to follow and live for Him), then we can’t just mow it over with our old ways. If we continue to think and act like we did before we gave our lives to Him, we will continue to sow like we always have. That way of living is basically letting the enemy continue to steal the seed from us.
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. ~Matthew 13:19~
PARABLE OF THE SOWER
God is looking for seeds to plant, grow, and produce spiritual fruit. If we continue to be the seeds that are planted among stony ground, without much soil, then we may sprout up quickly (that initial feeling that things are so much better on the other side), but we won’t last long because we don’t have any deep soil to grow roots. (Mark 4:5-6)
We might fall amongst the thorns (the same sort of mess we left) and get tangled up in the new drama before we know it and certainly not be any better off than we were before. (Mark 4:7)
BUT, if we move to a new pasture, with good soil (different thinking), we water it more (get into the Word and pray every, single day), and we fertilize it with better manure (Hee! Hee! Manure is a natural fertilizer folks! Prayer, worship, relationships with other believers, etc.) we could blossom, yield fruit, and even more seeds (grow His kingdom). (Mark 4:8) How awesome would that be?
This new, greener pasture doesn’t come without patience, caring, sowing, and waiting.
ONE OF MY PERSONAL JUMPS
I have personally gone through this several times when changing jobs. I would LOVE the peeps I worked with or LOVED the stuff I was doing, but for whatever reason, I always thought things would be better somewhere else. Sometimes when I jumped ship it worked out great, others times, not so much. With age comes wisdom as well!
When I was successful in changing jobs (better pay, more of a challenge, more responsibility, etc.) I realized I had a different mindset every time. The times when I didn’t have such a great transition, I kept the old mindset I “thought” I was leaving behind.
The last time I changed jobs, I prayed and prayed and prayed about the place He wanted me to land, the people I would be working with, the students I would encounter, and the situation in general. I had never done that before! I had always just jumped the fence and hoped for the best because it “looked” better from my old side of the fence.
Changing my mindset and being ready for whatever stress, drama, or stuff came my way, made my new pasture much more enjoyable. By NOT going into the new pasture with the same ole way of thinking, I was more open to making things work which meant I had to do more to ensure the pasture stayed green and I could grow while I was there.
Once the seed is in us (Christ in us), we are bound to change, but we have to continually be on the lookout for the enemy trying to wiggle his way back in (he’s that stubborn beetle that just keeps eating at our crops!). Hence the need to weed continually (get rid of the things that make us want to turn back to that old pasture – friends, habits, media, etc.).
He knows the weeds will grow among us, so if the seeds can overtake them (growing despite the weeds) we will let others see Him through us.
Sound like a lotta work? Yep, it will be. We don’t just throw out a bunch of seeds and bam they sprout and grow immediately. It takes time and tending to grow a seed into a fruitful plant. The same goes for our spiritual life. So remember, just jumping to the other pasture won’t necessarily bring you greener grass without some intentional tending and weeding along with some purposeful and meaningful fertilizer.
Have you ever jumped from one pasture to one you “thought” was greener? What happened? Did you still have trials to deal with? How did you handle them?
I would love to hear your stories! Please share them with all of us in the comments section below. We can all learn from each other!
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