Anyone else ever caught themselves thinking that? Or maybe another version of it:
“This isn’t what my life was supposed to look like.”
“This isn’t where I’m supposed to be.”
“I’m better than this.”
“I deserve better than this.”
Can we talk about it? About how entitled we are for feeling like we deserve more that what we have? About what we’re really saying: “what I have is not consistent with the life that God owes me.” And, maybe even worse, “there are people who deserve this, but I’m not one of them.”
Y’all. There is no such thing as deserving anything. Literally anything. (I know, a millennial preaching against entitlement. I’ll give you a minute to gather yourself.) Everything we have is given by God’s grace. We didn’t earn it and we don’t deserve it.
In fact, as Pastor Rick says, we should be grateful that God doesn’t give us what we deserve. It wouldn’t be the money and fame and fancy cars that we like to associate with good fortune. He saves us from what we really deserve just because He loves that much. And He loves us each individually; it’s not one of those “I guess I have to give all my kids the same gift so that no one throws a fit” kind of things. If that doesn’t fill your heart with gratitude, sis, I don’t know what will.
But we don’t ask ourselves those questions when it’s something good happening to us, do we? We don’t think about how undeserving we are when we get a promotion or a raise, when we find the love of our life and live happily ever after, when we get into our first choice of grad schools.
But when we get sick? Or laid off? Or gain 20 pounds by eating Taco Bell at midnight every night for a year? Then we’ll say, “I don’t know why this happened to me.” (Okay, fine, I knew where the 20 pounds came from.)
When was the last time you looked at your life in awe of the doors that have been opened for you? I’ll go first: I don’t remember. I’ve been so wrapped up in my quarter-life crisis and pouting over the fact that I don’t know where I’m going and my life isn’t quite what I pictured yet (’cause you’re supposed to have everything together and be conventionally successful at 25 right?) that I can’t really pin down the last time I looked around and thought, “wow, I’m blessed.” But I am. And I haven’t been un-blessed even when I failed to see how good I have it. And I bet you haven’t either.
He is a good, good Father, sisters. That doesn’t mean our struggles aren’t real. It doesn’t mean our pain is insignificant or our anxieties don’t matter. They do. Tell God about them. But they shouldn’t be the only thing you can see. Looking for God in the hard things as well as the good things is a skill, and honestly I’m not awesome at it yet. Sometimes gratitude requires intention and attention, but there’s always something to be grateful for. If you’re not sure where to start, refer to Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” He made you, He saved you, He loves you, and He has a plan for you. (Spoiler alert: it’s better than your plan for you.)
If you needed this attitude adjustment as much as I did, feel free to count your blessings in the comments below.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22