Entitled

I previously described disappointment as “ungrieved loss” in Grief. In order to properly grieve loss, actual or perceived, we are required to wrestle with the idea that we are owed something. Until we get what we are owed, we remain at a loss.

A hand outI realize looking back to that recent post, that I am expecting at the very least an explanation for the death of my friend Jon. The question before me is, “Am I holding onto the notion that I am owed and explanation; from God?” I think I am, holding on I mean. Until I get an answer, am I then not being restrained from moving forward by my own entitlement?

This seems to be a reasonable explanation for why I have not yet come to the “measure of peace” that I long for. This is surely a conundrum: held back by the very thing I seek. Of course I must then be honest with myself, that it is not really peace I am seeking, but rather an answer to my question. Having one is not a guarantee of both.

I certainly am not suggesting that we can’t or shouldn’t ask God deep questions. To ask or even demand from God an answer does not imply a demonstration of distrust or unfaithfulness on our part. Nor does it mean that He won’t give us an answer. God is not a micromanaging employer who has us teetering on the fence of loyalty, wildly balancing ourselves to appease His inherent paranoia of those who work for Him.

In giving us the Psalms, God clearly welcomes us to pour out the honesty of our hearts to Him. But isn’t then reciprocity fair trade? If we give him our loss, should we not accept His peace as an equitable exchange even if no answer to our question accompanies it?

There is good news! We may get more than peace (as if that is not good enough). In his writings the Apostle Paul described an unsettling circumstance which caused him grief,

“I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.      (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NLT)

I am not suggesting that we should not feel entitled. The more appropriate question for you and for I is, “What should we feel entitled to?”

If we continue to feel entitled to answers for our losses, we will inevitably find ourselves mired in a level of disappointment. Instead, let us feel entitled to the grace that God offers us, which appears to be in abundant supply. So, what will we do with God’s response to Paul, which also echoes through history to our own hearts today?

“My grace is all you need”

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