Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

You Deserve

Rant alert! I don’t know what it is about those two little words, “you deserve,” but they get under my skin like a bad bug bite’s venom. It’s right up there with the word “karma”. Nope, I don’t easily agree with them. In fact, I wrestle with those words, every time I hear them.

I remember when I went to the car dealership to trade my 2007 vehicle in. The salesman almost lost the deal when he told me, “I deserved” a new car. The vehicle I got came with a new car payment. My 2007 vehicle was paid off. So, I guess “I deserved” the car payment as well? He for sure didn’t congratulate me on that part.

Have you ever read the story of Job in the Bible? Job most certainly didn’t deserve the pain and suffering he was handed. But God permitted it? Why? Because He knew Job. He knew Job wouldn’t turn against Him and rebuke Him in his suffering.

Did Job deserve to be blessed double for all his suffering and pain after he proved his faithfulness to God? Did Job suffer any less or more than others suffer? Did Jesus deserve to die on the cross and suffer the worst kind of a criminal’s death?

Do people only deserve good things because they do good things? Do good people deserve to suffer at the hands of evil doers? Who really gets to decide what any person truly deserves?

I can’t answer these questions. If it were up to me, anyone who commits a heinous act would be put publicly to death. You know who would already be dead then? Me. I’m guilty of committing heinous acts against other humans and God. I’m guilty of breaking almost all the commandments. Yet, I’m still here.

I venture if you spent any time on planet earth, you’ve committed heinous acts as well. It’s human nature to sin. We ALL fall short of the glory of God. No one is immune to sin.

That young man who killed all those children in Texas, in my opinion didn’t deserve to die. To me, he got off easy. He deserved a long prison sentence so he could live with what he’d done until he reached a ripe old age. I wanted to see him suffer a lifetime of pain. Pain that goes deep and runs wide. But, that wasn’t my call to make.

On the other hand, I have empathy for the young man who must’ve dealt with far more pain and suffering in his short life that he thought killing innocent children and adults was the answer to his problems. How much hurt, hate and pain must he carried in his hardened heart? No clue.

I don’t believe for a second those children, parents, teachers, faculty, staff and families deserved what happened to them. Yet, it did. The carnage and trauma caused will take years to heal.

Where is the justice for those left behind? Those that have to deal with the consequences of the senseless murderous actions of one man will try to make sense out of what happened. They will try to wrap their minds around the fact their loved ones are gone. That the last time they said good-bye was literally the last time they would say good-bye, or I love you, or have a good day. Most assuredly the voices they’ll never hear out loud again will echo forever in their minds.

Do they deserve that? No, no they don’t.

It’s easy to place blame when these things happens. It’s how we try to make sense out of the non-sensical. We come together and grieve, but then we start shouting and pointing fingers at one another. Whoever shouts loudest is the one who wins? Right? Be careful with that theology. It’s typically the quiet ones stirring a pot you didn’t see coming to a boil until it’s too late.

The truth of the matter is, we will NEVER know what really happened, what transpired that day or what was going through the killer’s mind. All we know is the fallout.

But, there will be plenty of folks who will try to convince you to believe what they want you to believe. They’ll fill in the gaps with their “best’ guesses. It’s no longer about doing good for the people. It’s about, greed, and power, and money. All things rooted in evil when they become the focus of our existence. Idols in this day and age don’t have to be golden calves. They’re anything you give power to.

It’s easy to blame God when things don’t make sense, don’t go our way or when tragedy strikes. How can a good God allow such things to happen. God didn’t put the gun in that young man’s hands. Once again, God gave us free will, the choices we make HAVE consequences.

On this side of heaven we don’t see God’s bigger plan or the restorative plan He no doubt already has in place. It’s in times like this we either walk by faith or sight. We either believe who God says He is and His Sovereignty or we don’t.

Job chose to walk by what He knew about God despite his crappy circumstances and despite what his friends and wife said. Job had no clue what God was truly doing or that God would double all that was taken from him and make the latter half of Job’s life better. The justice God serves up will most likely never make sense to us. Our finite minds truly can’t handle that kind of sovereign truth.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

God never leaves us alone to deal with the things other humans are capable of doing to us. I daresay it’s when we leave Him out of the picture and take justice into our own hands that we suffer catastrophically more than if we’d have left the avenging to Him.

Count the cost. Count your blessings. Give thanks to God in ALL things because God’s not the bad guy here. We are.

Lord God, we give thanks that You are still in control and still on your throne. Lord, I beg You to hear the pained cries of your people. I believe you are close to the brokenhearted and You are giving comfort as only You can give. Your children are in deep pain and groaning from the tragedy of recent events. I boldly come before you and ask an abundance of love, comfort, mercy, and peace over the families who are left behind to deal with the travesty of evil being ever present in our world. Greater though are YOU than he who is in this world. Whatever You are already doing, I trust that it’s a plan for good and that restoration is already in progress. I pray this nation turn from its wicked ways, and turns back to You. I pray the idols of greed, hate, lust, power, and money are shattered and Your Kingdom comes on earth as it is in Heaven. May it be Your will that’s done and may we repent and submit our evil ways to You. In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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