You guys, I really want to cheer for all of you today.
Because when I was done preaching last Sunday, one of my friends came to tell me the best news I’d heard all day.
She pointed at her adorable seven year old daughter and said,
“After you finished speaking, she said, ‘I’m so glad A WOMAN did that.’”
Oh, girl, I am too. The cheers of this one little girl made my heart soar.
I asked her if she thought she’d ever preach. She smiled shyly, shrugged her sweet shoulders, and said, “I’m scared.”
I confessed my own hidden truth to her: “I’m scared EVERY SINGLE TIME.”
But I do it anyways, because I’ve come to believe that if our lives don’t terrify us, they probably won’t be all that much fun. Me and Jesus, we are all about having fun, apparently. (#whyislifesohardthough)
I spoke about comparison in my sermon, the way it blinded Rachel and Leah to God’s sovereignty and love. Comparison has ruined countless relationships. It erodes trust and love. Comparison keeps us hostage, accusing us of being less valuable and loved than we actually are.
The striking thing about my friend’s daughter was that she didn’t seem tempted to play the comparison game. She didn’t assume that all the preaching slots for women were taken, and she should just embrace her seat in the back. Maybe she’s too young for jealousy, but I think it’s more than that. I think this girl is fully aware of the fire in her own heart, and every light around her is proof to her that she will one day get to blaze the trail God created her for.
The best way to beat comparison is to cheer for one another. If we are truly all united in Christ, then your victory is God’s best news for me. Your success means God will help me get up the hill I’m climbing. Your brilliant light is evidence that the darkness around me will one day be dispersed. I can bask in the joy of your morning, even if I’m still in the middle of my darkest night.
In a world where we live under the constant scrutiny created by everyone else’s perfect social media posts; where we are told to fight and compete to be the seen and heard; where we carry so many painful stories that weigh us down; we have this crazy chance to honor and celebrate the small victories that blossom every day in the lives of the people around us.
Celebrating is one way to bring a little taste of heaven on earth. And the next generation is watching us, taking notes, and they will step through the doors we courageously knock on.
It’s time to have more fun and rejoice a little, you guys.
The Bible says that all of heaven rejoices when one sinner repents. It says to rejoice in all things, no matter what. This means we can live like we’re already in heaven by clapping and cheering for someone else’s job promotion, for the insecurity they’ve overcome, for the healing their body has experienced, and for their treasured victory that they may have thought would never happen.
As I write this, I keep thinking about the character Leslie Knope, and the kind of friend she was to Ann Perkins. Friendship is the reward here on earth for all of us who decide to cheer for one another. And, Lord knows, the world could use more friends who say things like this:
So I really want to know, what’s happening in your world, that I can celebrate? Give me the scoop me in the comments! How has God come through for you? Show me the scars he’s healed and the reward he’s poured out. I’m so glad you are using your gifts and talents to make much of Jesus.
You’re all beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk oxen. And I think you’re amazing.