The story goes something like this:
A man comes in to a lodging place late after a night on the town. When he sits on his bed, he pulls one shoe off and drops it to the floor with a loud bang. Feeling a bit guilty about the people sleeping in the room below him, he slips off the other shoe and places it quietly next to the dropped one. He undresses and gets into bed and as he’s about to fall asleep he is startled by a loud voice coming from the room below. “Drop the other shoe, would you? I can’t get back to sleep waiting for to drop the other shoe.”
Some say this was an old vaudeville act which was meant to be funny.
Some live their lives likes it’s a reality.
The mouth is set, the teeth clenched waiting for the inevitable bang of disruption.
The expected disaster. The embrace of Murphy’s Law.
There is no laughing waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The enemy of our souls tries to hold a shoe over our heads.
The enemy of our souls appeals to the place in our hearts that says we deserve the things that come to us.
That earning thing. That consequence thing.
What words do we grow up with?
“You didn’t eat all your supper so you don’t deserve any dessert.”
“You did everything that was required and then some…you deserve an A.”
“You did everything on the check-off list of life.”
“You missed too many church services.”
“You didn’t handle your money properly.”
“You cheated on the test, your taxes, your wife.”
Deserved. Justice. Fairness. Reward. Punishment.
If I read enough, if I really show how much I love God, if I give it all, He will have to bless me.
It’s only fair. I deserve it.
If I forget to pray, or I am bored by the God words on the page…if I ignore one more plea for help, then I will not receive blessing and perhaps even invite punishment. This is fair. This is just.
Who are you that you determine “deserves?”
By even comparing myself to another smacks of usurping the sovereignty of an Almighty God.
His voice comes to me in the bathroom when I am washing my face.
“Do you dare to presume deservedness?”
I will bless you.
I am Jacob in that moment.
Going after a blessing in my own strength and having it culminate in a wrestling match with God Himself only to be stun-gunned in the hip by the finger of the Almighty.
A limp to remember Who he is making demands of.
The finger of God in my heart reminds me that He blesses not according to deservedness.
He is The Bless-er.
Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
It is Who He is, a Bestower of Gifts that abound and spill.
He is the spiller of gifts because there are so many.
It is the gifts that fall, not shoes.
Thankfulness for everything that comes in this life is the river, the conduit, the stream for more and more blessing.
I am thankful His blessings are not given or withheld based on what I deserve.
Deserve. Strike it from the dictionary.
The word should be banished from human language.