God doesn’t owe me a thing


“My brother died a week ago,” I heard the man say. He was tall, square shouldered, and had glistening eyes.  “I was given the gift of 50 years with him. God doesn’t owe me a thing!” His comment was cutting, not with its sharpness, but with its conviction.

He went on to tell the story of his brothers’ long battle with cancer. With young kids and a wife at home, they were all hoping and praying he would recover.  But he didn’t. He died. “At the end he looked like a person that had just stepped out of the Holocaust,” the man said. “But I got to hold him in my arms at the end; it was so special.”

I was stunned. When most people would focus on the deep, dark waters of loss, this man spoke of the joy within his loss.  “Sure, I will miss my brother like crazy, but I am not angry.” he stated. “I had 50 wonderful years with him; that was a gift.”

His words ricocheted in my head, “God doesn’t owe me a thing.” Joy amidst suffering is a rare sight and with neck strained I eagerly took in the full sight of this joy man.  Is this the way we view our troubles?

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