They complained, “Is it through Moses alone that the Lord speaks? Does he not speak through us also?” “Now listen to the words of the Lord: Why then did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?”
So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days and the people did not start out again until she was brought back. (Numbers 12:2, 6, 8, 15, NAB)
Miriam and Aaron were jealous. Here was Moses, a meek man who had not lived the suffering they had, married to a Cushite, getting all the glory. How could God do that to them?
Recently I have been asking myself the same question. I have given up so much to follow my husband across the country for his job. Yes, my career was portable and our six year old daughter was at a portable stage in her life. It didn’t seem like a big sacrifice at the time.
So we move. Al has already found a church with a choir, theater group and a school for Ana. The choir and the theater group joyfully embrace him. When Ana and I arrive on the scene, momentum on the summer musical is well underway and the spare garage at our new house is soon converted into a scene shop. I’m asked to write some articles for the program and I get stars in my eyes. Maybe this will swing some attention my way. And a little does come, but compared to my husband it doesn’t feel like much. So the show runs and he gets his name in the newspaper for the fantastic sets he helped to build and the theater group is worshipping the ground he walks on. As his wife I share the spotlight, but my own light seems very dim.
Fast-forward, its one year later. He is the set construction manager. (I.e. he’s in charge of the whole shebang.) He’s doing quite a bit of work, a lot of the time he’s on his own. Needless to say his star is on the rise again. I was once again asked to write two articles, but in the end only wrote one. So in a few weeks the show will go on and along with the actors, musicians and directors, he will receive many kudos and I’ll receive few to none.
I feel the green-eyed monster growing inside. The fact my husband is so completely involved with this project, leaves Ana and I with many hours without him. Lots of time for me to become angry, jealous and resentful.
Like the story of Miriam and Moses, God isn’t too happy with this attitude. He won’t afflict me with leprosy as he did Miriam, but I feel his dissatisfaction in other ways. My attitudes push my husband away. Al may not realize my jealousy, but he feels the push and senses my unhappiness. He moves further away and finds ways to spend less time with me and when he can’t do that he’s grouchy and irritable. I’ve created my own punishment.
God doesn’t like my jealousy and anger. He wants me to find other ways to channel my energies. If I can’t work with Al to accomplish goals, then I need to focus on missions that God has given me. God wants to share in Al’s glow for now and patiently wait, for in God’s time my light will shine brightly and Al will be in the fringes sharing the experience with me, like I need to learn to do now.
Lord, help me keep the jealous bones at bay, encourage my loved ones with their successes and know that in you time I will have successes also.
Is there something that a spouse, friend or acquaintance has that you wish you had? Have you let it cause anger, resentment or distance in your relationship? Step back and look at what you are doing. Are your emotions causing damage you don’t want it to? Realize what you are doing and see that is not your time but theirs. Realize your time will come. Share their excitement; let them know how happy you are for them. Congratulate them. Strive not to belittle their accomplishment, but instead let them know how important it is to you and to God. Make a conscious effort to be part of their joy instead of causing them distress.