I’ve been reflecting lately on entitlement in our spiritual lives. In recent sermons and readings, I’ve been impressed with the idea that we’re not guaranteed a perfect life – even as Americans, something pretty hard for my western, Millennial mind to grasp. Suffering is a part of life, and those verses that say, “in this world, you will have trouble”, actually mean it.
I don’t mean this to be a depressing post, but maybe because I’m in my 30s now, I’ve just realized that life isn’t perfect. A lot of people go through a lot of hard things. And that doesn’t mean God isn’t good. It also doesn’t mean that I’m immune.
I’ve always imagined that I would fall in love; have a good marriage with well-behaved, smart children; and live the proverbial happily ever after. And maybe I will. But, God doesn’t owe me that. He doesn’t owe me anything. He gave me life and salvation, and if that’s all He ever did, it would still be an astounding grace.
Of course, that’s not all He’s done for me (see Wednesday’s somewhat silly post about jewelry and clothing). But, He doesn’t owe me anything. Just because I was born in America instead of an Indian slum, I have special privileges. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born middle-class white, I have a lot of opportunities. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born a woman who would like to be married and have children, I have a hope that one day, I’ll get what I’ve always wanted. But, it isn’t owed to me.
So, while I work on my attitude and expectations that a Holy God cater to my whims, I continue to pray that He will give me “the desires of my heart.” But, in case that’s not what that verse actually means…or, in case that desire remains unfulfilled until I’m 82, I’m also working on making the words of the old hymn true for me, as well:
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, EVEN SO, it is well with my soul.
Maybe you can relate to a hope deferred. Maybe you can relate to feeling entitled. Maybe you can’t, but you understand what it’s like to go through challenges and still see that God is good. Regardless, I hope that everyone will be able to come to a place where they too can say, “even so, it is well.”
And, I hope that you will wear sequins. Because as my shirt (which, ironically, has no sequins on it) says – life is short. And no matter what our circumstances, we all can look for a reason to celebrate.