I deserve it

A lot of well meaning people have told us, we deserve it. We deserve a handicapped house. We deserve a vacation. We deserve a “normal” child….. 

We deserve medical aide, a hand out, a help up, or even a break. Or, we deserve that extra fill-in-the-blank, that pricey whatchamacallit, or that unpractical wish. 

Many more times than I’d like to admit, I tell myself I deserve stuff too.

Do you do that? 
 
Maybe you’ve had a busy season at work and think, “I deserve a vacation or raise.”
Maybe you’ve lost some weight and decide you deserve to go shopping.
Maybe you’ve been through a trauma, so you give yourself permission to check out of life.  I mean, you deserve it, right?
Maybe it’s just me.
But the truth is, I am starting to think I don’t deserve anything good. And the fact my kids have a rare, terminal illness, or I have to endure a lot of suffering in the process, doesn’t qualify me for a hand out.
You know what I really deserve? What maybe we deserve? 
Warning: you aren’t gonna like it and some of you may even disagree.
Punishment, suffering, and death. 
Yuck-o.
That feels way different than a trip to Hawaii.
Punishment, suffering, and death are the result of the fallen, broken world we live in. It’s the result of rebellion. The result of our prideful, “I deserve it” attitude.   I am starting to believe there is really nothing good about this life, me, or the general human condition apart from what God is redeeming.  Someone once said, that every good and perfect gift comes from above. Maybe he was on to something.  
So, what if? 
What if we changed our perspective from “I deserve it” to “what an undeserved gift”?
What if bad things happen to good people cause they live here, amongst bad things?  
What if bad things were what we came to expect simply because we are breathing? 
Sometimes, we want to blame God for all the sadness and brokenness in the world.  I mean, if we believe He’s in charge and all….what the heck is he doing? Why sanfilippo? Why loneliness, why fill-in-the-blanks?  Right? I get that.
But what if? 

What if God is for you? What if God actually agrees with you? That babies shouldn’t die, or rebellious people should be held accountable, or we should blame someone for our pain? What if God was actually on our side fixing what we continually break, instead of the enemy allowing stuff to stay broken? What if God was more like a carpenter and less like demolition man?

You know….it didn’t start like this in the garden, all this brokenness, sorrow, pain and death.  And it won’t be like this in heaven.
I want to start seeing everything good, or perfect, or beautiful is an undeserved gift.  Maybe then I will stop feeling as entitled to good things and start being more grateful. 
 
Could you imagine what would change in the world if we walked around grateful instead of entitled? 
There would be no more people running red lights. 
No more turf wars or bullying. 
No more school shootings or lawsuits. 
Less pride.
Less selfishness.
Less deserving it.
Gratitude begets generosity. When you receive an undeserved gift it humbles you. 
A free house humbles you.
Extra hands humble you.
Friendship humbles you.
Anonymous checks humble you.
The breath of a dying child humbles you.
The beauty of keeping a posture of humility, or an “attitude of gratitude” as someone creatively put it, allows us to understand grace with a fresh perspective.  It has the power to change the way we see Jesus, and what he did for us on the cross. It also opens us up to extend grace to other people. We stop measuring their worthiness. And there’s freedom when we stop measuring ours.

 

So I am learning I don’t deserve it, but I’m grateful.

2 thoughts on “I deserve it

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I think your perspective on entitlement versus gratitude is spot on. I'm learning this, too; I'm learning to believe that when it says if God is for us who can be against us.

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  2. Wow, Stefanie! As soon as I saw “we deserve it”, I thought to myself, “Yes! She gets it”. I have always felt uncomfortable using that phrase when something good happens for folks who are in a hard place. To me it feels like saying, “Here's your consolation prize for having something awful happen to you.” It feels better to me to say something along the lines of, “I'm happy to see this happening for you.” Then I saw “punishment, pain and death” and physically recoiled. I thought, “No, no, no! Too dark! Too harsh!” But then I continued to read and soon I was smiling and nodding my head in agreement. You have voiced so many things that I have been trying my darndest to be more intentional about in my daily life. The older I get, the more sense an “attitude of gratitude” makes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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