Thursday, August 23, 2012

Icing on the Cake

I've spent the majority of my life expecting that good things should happen to me, or that people should admire/like me, or that life might simply be easy. My expectations were off, and it took me a while to see it.

I've spent the last few years very aware that I actually don't deserve any of these things (I even blogged about it several months back!). I probably took this to an extreme, actually. When hard things happened, when mean things were said, when my heart simply hurt...I adopted a mentality of, 'I don't deserve anything better, anyway'. Sometimes I felt like a battered wife who refuses to believe that there's anything better meant for her.

It's quite contrary to what I had been used to. Previously, I had been a fighter. I fought for justice, I demanded equality, I probably teetered on the side of demanding things in my favor over everyone else. I deserved the best, the greatest, the most important...because I was me.

It was pride that drove me.
It was selfishness.
But I didn't want it any longer.

So, instead of a sweet humility to replace it, I filled the void with self-deprecation. I didn't deserve good. The gospel penetrated my soul in a way it never had before. There is no one righteous...not even one. Not even me. No matter how hard I tried, no matter what I did, what I said, what I thought, how much I prayed, how much I read my Bible...I couldn't attain it. I didn't deserve anything better. It was only by the grace of God that I am saved, and anything beyond that I didn't need. I already had more than I deserved by the sheer volume of what His grace means for my life.

I lived in this for a while.
I didn't want to ask for more than what I had because I didn't want to be selfish. I didn't want to think I was more than I was because I didn't want to be prideful. I didn't want to step into who I had been...and so I fearfully shied away from anything that made me believe that I deserved anything more than what I already have.

I wrestled with desiring more, but feeling guilty for it...
And just recently I came to an epiphany. One of those epiphanies that you sporadically have throughout your life, but you sort of forgot that you ever had it in the first place.

The issue isn't in the desiring more... the issue is in the demanding more, the thinking that I deserve more. Because, I think the truth is that I don't deserve it. I don't deserve good things. I don't deserve salvation. I don't deserve friends and family who care about me abundantly. I don't deserve job security, or financial security, or a comfortable lifestyle. I don't deserve a family, or a husband who loves me unconditionally. I don't deserve a healthy body or a capable mind.

So what if, instead of demanding that I receive these things, my attitude is that of one receiving blessing? That in realizing my depravity... in realizing how much I don't deserve these things, my attitude is one of thanksgiving? Instead of rejecting my desires, instead of rejecting the good that comes my way, instead of feeling guilty... what if I approached it with a completely different mentality?

What if, for once, I believed that God is actually good and then I trusted Him to act within that character?

I don't know where you're at in your journey of faith.
I don't know if you think that you deserve to be happy... or a thousand other awesome things to come your way.

I don't think you deserve happiness.
But, I do think that you'll get to have it. Maybe not always, but I think there will certainly be times of it. And, instead of expecting and demanding happiness... what if we were just thankful for those moments? What if we were just thankful for the good that happens to us in this life, because we are so very aware that we don't deserve it? What if we lived in deep gratitude of a God that has already saved us from eternal damnation and everything else in life was just icing on the cake?

Tonight I got to taste a little icing.
You know what?
It tasted a lot better when I didn't even expect or demand to have it.
'Cause, gosh, I certainly didn't deserve any of it... but I believe I serve a God who is good, a God who wants to bless us abundantly more than we could possibly imagine.

I'm going to let Him.
I'm not going to demand it or expect it or think that I deserve it...
But, I'm going to let Him.

And hopefully my life will be a life of gratitude and thankfulness, instead of a life of expectation and disappointment.

That seems better to me.
It seems right.

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous

1 comment:

  1. Would it be fair to say that living in extreme self deprecation (i.e., beating yourself up over your failures) is just as selfish as thinking you deserve good things?