I Deserve It

I Deserve It

I hear these words a lot…in my head. Sometimes I hear it from others, but mostly me.

Sitting in church the other morning, I was graciously reminded that I don’t. I don’t deserve it. Not really.

I think I do sometimes. I think I deserve a comfortable home, a new pair of shoes, something to eat, better service – things that I take for granted every day and think I deserve. I even get frustrated when some of those things don’t happen or don’t happen like I think they should.

Truth be told, I really don’t deserve any of it.

Who am I, really? I am a lowly human being who sins on a regular basis – like over and over and over again, doing the same thing. There’s nothing in that to warrant special attention, acclaim, praise, “success,” or even my own way. I don’t rate anything at the end of the day.

What I really deserve is far worse. You may know the verse: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Those “sins,” those times I mess up every single day have one reward and it’s not a good one. What I really rate is death, eternal separation from a God who loves me.

I deserve it.

But thankfully, God doesn’t give me what I deserve.

You can see the second part of the verse. Instead of what I deserve, He gives me the gift of eternal life and He gives me so much more. Truly, He gives me not just life to come, but life today. John 10:10 says, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Life. Abundant, eternal life.

This reminder brings me to a place of humility and gratefulness. Humility and gratefulness lead me to a life of wholehearted obedience. It’s a natural response to such grace.

To love God is my first response and the second response is to love others.

People who are in the same place I am. Stuck in a cycle of sin with the “reward” being one none of us ever want to encounter. The people around me, nice and not-so-nice, struggle with fear, inadequacy, heartbreak, and failure just like I do and some of them have never met Jesus.

This reminder of who I am and what God has done for me spurs me on to love others as well. Realizing we are all in this together, knowing the grace that has been poured out to me, my response should be one of love and grace poured out.

Yet here I sit on any given day frustrated, even angry, because things don’t happen as I think they should. I tell my kids all the time that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Sometimes I should take my own advice.

This is a constant struggle and I am sure it is human nature, but I will continue to pray that I will remember what I really deserve – not to live as a victim, live in depression, or become a doormat, but to receive and extend grace and love by being obedient to the One who loves me.

I don’t get what I deserve. Thank goodness.

Do you ever get in a mode where you feel like you deserve something? How do you keep a mindset of humility and gratefulness?

Learning to Hug

Learning to Hug

Hugging is not my strong point. I’m not really that good at it and I rarely initiate, but I have come to cherish them.

I am learning to let people into the bubble where I live.

I am independent as many military women are, sure we can stand on our own because we have been asked to do so many times. Moving our families, recreating homes, building unity and stability, all things we have done because we feel it is necessary.

Yet, I believe God has a different plan.

Community is hard to build, especially when your life is nomadic. Trusting other people with your things, with your family and with your heart is not an easy thing to do. We get better at it, I believe or maybe not. Investing in other people, getting attached, and then either they leave or you do – it gets a bit old after a while. It makes you wonder if it’s worth it to do it again.

It does me. But it’s also what God has called me to do.

Through my time in this military world, God has blessed me over and over with people I need in my life at just the time I need them. Some are extroverted and excited, some servant-hearted and loving, some rescuers by nature, and some that possess a tough love that challenges me to seek the One with my whole heart again. All of them love me in different ways for different seasons and all brought to my world at the right time for what the Lord was doing in me. He uses them to teach me more about Him.

But I have to actually let them into my world.

Example:

My husband was deployed, his grandfather passed away, and I took the kids to be with his family. Deployments are never fun, but times like this make them “less fun.” It was a long week as we celebrated the life of my husband’s grandfather and worked through lots of details. The kids and I headed home.

When we got to our house and walked in the door, my house was clean. It was straightened when I left. But when we came home, the bathrooms were clean, the laundry was done, clean sheets were on the bed, and the floors were all vacuumed, swept and mopped. I know, it shocked me too.

My friend, one I had let in my world, had been there while we were gone. It was a blessing I will not forget, but also one the Lord used. I was tired of “letting people in” to start all over again a couple of years down the road. I bravely stepped out and God taught me to trust Him. He was once again using people to teach me about His love and provision in my life.

But she would never have come in if I had not given her a key.

Keys to my house and keys to my heart, I had to give her both. I had to be vulnerable and open, much like when people want to hug me. I had to take the chance of hurting. If I hadn’t, I would have missed many blessings along the way. God knew what I needed and this nomadic life is not a surprise to Him. He has used it to cross my path with some of these most amazing people, those who have poured into me, making me more like Jesus tomorrow than I am today.

I need those people, and ideally they need me too.

I am pretty sure I have been blessed far more than I have blessed others. Each move, each new location, I go looking now. Not for a band of groupies or a huge gang of folks to hang out with, but those people God intentionally puts in my path for a season or for a lifetime. He has them planned out long before I show up.

He also has folks that He would have me to impact as well.

So today, I challenge you to go looking, be vulnerable.

Who has God put in your path for this season? Who continues to impact you and how can you pour into others?

And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

 

 

 

**This post is part of the #MondayminutewithGod over at Planting Roots!