Better than I Deserve

Yesterday it snowed here in Peoria. Probably the biggest single day snowfall (I’m sure more attentive weather-followers could correct this) that I can remember since 2006. I remember that snow vividly because Margary was being baptized that weekend and we were throwing a feast, and my sisters and parents flew in for the event.

Because of the weather we missed church. Services all over the area were cancelled and we were snowed in. No way we could even make it up the driveway.

It was beautiful. The view out the window of the fresh snow everywhere covering the trees in the back ravine and the yard. Beautiful white frosty snow everywhere.

This isn’t the house we were looking for. We searched for three years for a house in the city and looked at all kinds of options: old sorority houses, schools, remodeled funeral homes and retail buildings, old houses in various parts of the east and west bluffs. We were looking for something with space and in the city. We never would have looked for this house.  But here we are, still in the city but nestled into the woods.  Close to everything but in our own little world, and with space that the children all love and continue to give thanks for.

I was talking with Theresa yesterday morning and looking out the window marveling at the beauty and enjoying the house. I said “we don’t deserve this house. But then that’s true of all of God’s gifts, isn’t it?”

And that continues to strike me.  I know I deserve nothing but wrath from God.  There’s nothing good in me on my own.  And God treats me so well.  I have so much from His Hand.  On my worst day I’m doing better than I deserve.  My home, my children, my perfect-for-me wife, my vocation:  all gifts from God’s hand that are not something I deserved or earned but that He pours out on me and mine in largesse.  He fills every cup until it overflows with goodness and grace.  This thought itself brings tears of joy to my eyes as I consider the many, many gifts He’s given and will give.

“…He makes me lie down in green pastures.  

He leads me beside still waters.  

He restores my soul…..  

my cup overflows.  

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

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