I was reading one of my favorite psalms this evening, Psalm 63. It begins as follows,
"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water."
While these words are an accurate reflection of my heart's long-term desire, it is not my heart's constant desire. I am not constant in my longing for God. Another psalm says,
"My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my hear and flesh sing for joy to the living God." (Ps. 84:2)
Such good words! Yet truly, I find that a more accurate reflection of my heart's state is often found in Psalm 73:2-3,
"But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."
The gift of the poet is that he can put words together in such a way that touch the hearts of others. Yet the Christian's life is not poetry. It is not even skillfully written prose. It is more often broken, almost falling apart, envious of those who are not constrained by a relationship with a holy and righteous God, and seeking to become more consistent in its right desires. Yet that is where the power of the Christian's life comes from. Not that he is able to produce a perfect life, devoid of fault and which everyone around is compelled to emulate. No, rather that he is able to live in honesty, admitting the times when he fails or falls, constantly picking up the pieces and continuing to live on.
The Christian life is not about perfection. That will have to wait for heaven. It is about constancy, and continuing to pursue a relationship with the God who has provided a way to know Him personally.
Oh, how did Asaph (the guy who wrote Psalm 73) solve his problem of envy? Check this out:
"But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end." (73:16-17)
Meet with God and consider the end of the matter. Check out the rest of these psalms. It'll be worth it, I assure you. (Psalms 63, 73, and 84).