When You Don't Deserve It

Ever had one of those incredibly humbling moments when you realize how much you really don't deserve the life you have? I seem to be having those repetitively lately as they just knock the breath out of me and bring tears to my eyes.

This morning the weight of His goodness and my inadequacy felt like 1,000 pounds on my chest and rushing towards my tear ducts.

I received a phone call from a number I didn't know and it just happened to be my  middle school english teacher. I owe this woman more than I can explain. For the first time standing at her chalk board, as a 7th grader, grammar and english made sense. Oh trust me, I'm in no way saying I'm great at sentence structure, but if it wasn't for her, I never would have fallen in love with writing or public speaking. She is the one who urged me to be in speech, be in UIL poetry, and also do some public speaking at our school assemblies. She said, who she was and that she had heard about some of the missions overseas I've done and a few of the current projects I'm working on. She began to tell me that she was proud of me for what I've done and who I am. She always was more encouraging than I knew how to handle.

Life as a Christian is full of rewards we don't deserve.

Sometimes those rewards literally bring me to my knees. I didn't deserve Jesus' death nor do I now deserve His continual forgiveness, peace, mercy, grace, and love that He shows on a daily basis.

I haven't done anything that earns those things and I won't ever do anything that earns those things. He's freely given to me no matter what condition I'm in and no matter how many "works" I've done. Still the most liberating and humbling scripture, "but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

I don't deserve such awesome affirmation from my teacher. Sure I've done a few things that people have given me "pats on the back" for and honestly it just bewilders me. The truth is that those very things they praise me for are the things that I have been most humbled by and most grateful for.

I didn't choose to do those things and in the midst of them I often battled fears and doubts instead of being in faith. I didn't deserve God allowing me to travel and hold the orphans or widows. I didn't deserve Him letting me feed the hungry and pray for the sick. I don't deserve to get to teach His loving gospel to countless teenagers behind the pulpit or the teacher's desk. What an honor and a privilege these things have been. What positive life changing experiences they have been.  Life changing experiences that I did because He told me to, not because I knew how to love or even wanted to, and yet through them He showed me real love.

Each of us could stop and think about our lives and realize, if we're honest with ourselves, we don't deserve what we've been given. We are blessed beyond imagination, but it's so much more than just being blessed.... The truth is we are loved. We are loved beyond our wildest imagination. And because I am loved to a depth that I can't comprehend, on a daily basis, I experience what I don't deserve. Mercy, Love, Grace, Salvation, Intimate Relationship with the Creator of the Universe, a Father who forgives endlessly, Our Holy Spirit who teaches, guides, comforts, and is patient beyond comprehension,  affirmation and approval because this Jesus who I am madly in love with chose to bury my impurity, sinful, fallen nature, and let me be made new in Him, and a Lord, a Father, a Best Friend, my Jehovah Cowdh, who won't let me stay in my comfort zone, but rather continually encourages me to step out, love more, forgive more, do more, see more, push past fears and doubts, and do what seems impossible.

He's so good and we don't deserve it, but He's continually faithful anyway because He loves us. Oh how He loves us. Be Blessed, J. Tate