Photo by Werner Sevenster on Unsplash

Joshua 19:49–51 ‘When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them…’ (v49)

We all know the phrase, ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’ The concept is found in the poetry of Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD), who wrote ‘Fertilior seges est alenis semper in agris’ (‘the harvest is always more fruitful in another man’s fields’).* Our human heart is always looking for satisfaction beyond the immediacy of our own experience. We may envy another’s apparent success or create a ‘bucket list’ of things we assume will bring us happiness. 

However, God has ensured that we can find fullness of life within the limits of our own life experience. No longer gazing outwards, scanning the horizon for a satisfying alternative to our lot in life, Scripture tells us that God is found much closer to home. Indeed, He is with us in the everyday realities of our experience. It takes an inner resolve to embrace life as we experience it. 

Certainly I have struggled with experiences I’ve weathered, and not always done so with grace or faith to the fore. But, I eventually laid hold of God in my own backyard, even as I looked for more pleasant alternatives elsewhere. This is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian life, yet failure to find God where we are will commit us always to be seeking but never finding the fullness Jesus promised (John 10:10). Learning to live confidently in the now is essential, for now is where we are and where we are to find God.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Ps. 9:11–20; Jer. 29:1–23; Matt. 7:6–20; 2 Tim. 3. 

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Can you find God in your own backyard, or does the grass look greener elsewhere? 
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to seek You in my own circumstances and so refuse to contrast and compare my situation with those elsewhere. Amen.

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.