The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”Psalms 145:8-9
I was in the 10th grade and really struggling in English class. I did not pay attention in most of my English classes prior to that year, and I was lost even on the basic parts of speech. I was at a new school and my English teacher was fresh out of college and a stickler in the class room. He seemed cocky to me and I did not like him. He was good looking, so a lot of the girls swooned over him, which naturally made me jealous.
I was flunking the class and destined to get an “F” for the quarter. My teacher noticed things were looking grim, so he offered to spend some time with me after school to see if he could help me understand the areas I was struggling with. This was quite an arduous task as there were several areas in which I struggled, and we would need to have unlimited time to get me up to speed. A friend of mine was also struggling, so we were both part of this tutoring session. We had only two tutoring sessions before our big test, and I needed to get at least a 77 percent to even pass the class. We took the test and as I looked it over before turning it in, I knew I was in trouble. I was clueless as to what the answers should be, and I knew my friend was as well. I looked over at him, and saw him looking at his neighbor’s paper and copying the answers. My heart started to beat faster, and I began to get angry because I wanted to do the same. Unfortunately, my teacher was giving me the eye and the person I sat by was not the greatest student.
We got our tests back and, of course, I failed my test. I knew it was coming but it was heartbreaking to get this final confirmation. My friend proudly strolled by and showed off “his” 82 percent. I wanted to punch him in the eye, but it was my own fault that I had failed. Our soccer tournament started at the end of that week, and I was hoping the grades would post after the tournament. The very next practice, I saw the dean of students talking to my soccer coach, and I was hoping my coach would plead my case and still allow me to play. My coach did not look happy, and he called me off the field and told me I was ineligible. My friend got to play in my place while I sat on the sidelines in street clothes. He was a second stringer and allowed several goals on his defensive side. It was hard for me to watch, and I felt that doing right did not pay off. At the time, I failed to realize that it was my own fault, but I never again was declared ineligible due to my grades.
We often are the same way when we look around and see ungodly people “advancing” in life while we seem to struggle. We feel like they are doing wrong and still being blessed, while we are striving to do right and merely struggling to get by. We fail to see God’s tender mercies in our life, and we forget that we always reap what we sow. We forget the eternal reward of doing right is so much greater than the temporal blessings this world has to offer. We fail to see our time is but a vapor, and the things that are done for Christ will last forever. We forget that our God is slow to anger and full of compassion. We forget that He is good to all, as He is a good God. Matthew 5:45 states, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Do you envy others because they seem to be getting ahead? Do you realize the grace your Heavenly Father has bestowed upon you? Do you realize how good God is, or are you too busy envying and coveting someone else’s situation? Do you thank Him for all that He has done in your life? Do you thank Him for the compassion He has on you? May we realize that our God is good to all, but we may be particularly thankful for how good He is to us. Psalm 100:5 states, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Praise God for His mercies that endure forever and praise Him for His goodness to all.