Some years back, McDonald’s had a commercial out that said, “You deserve a break today…at McDonald’s.” I thought about this commercial while watching the Cardinals baseball game this evening.
The announcers were talking about teams signing players and Joe Morgan said, “Do the fans of Milwaukee deserve to have the owners sign Prince Fielder?”
Do they deserve it? What does that mean? Have they attended enough games? Spent enough money while at the ball park? Watched enough games on tv? I have to admit, I was confused.
I’ve heard that phrase, about someone deserving something, a lot on the news lately. The media reports that some think Haiti deserved the devastating earthquake because of a “pact” they supposedly made. That the miners in West Virginia “deserved” their fate, because of those members of a certain church that were arrested recently.
When was the last time you got what you deserved? Was it a break, at McDonald’s? I had a car salesman tell me one time that I “deserved to drive a Lexus.” This was after Jim and I told him what we wanted to spend on a car and for some reason he tried to sell us a more expensive one. He offered to finance the amount that was over the cash we were willing to spend, because “we deserved” to have a newer vehicle. I don’t get angry very often but Jim knew enough to get me out of there…and quick!
It wasn’t long ago that someone at church asked me how I was feeling. I explained how things were going and this person looked at me and said, “You know, you don’t deserve to have this happen to you.” Really…why not?
I have to say there have been few times in my life when I have “gotten what I deserve”. Every gift from God has been, not only not deserved, but not earned. It has been exactly that…a gift. If truth be told, the one thing I haven’t gotten is “what I deserve.”
I am a sinner…there is no other way to put it. What I deserve in condemnation…what I received is grace. Amazing grace…
I remember Jim telling me a story about a preacher that he used to go hunting with. They would stay in a cabin up in the woods and at night, they would talk about their past. Jim used to say he could “never out bad the preacher”, meaning he would tell one of his sins and the preacher would reveal one of his to top it. He wasn’t being arrogant…he was trying to make a point. NO SIN IS TOO MUCH FOR CHRIST TO COVER…
The price is paid. It’s a gift…you can do nothing to earn it…you’ll never deserve it. But in order to receive it, you have to empty your hands long enough to receive it.
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28