Better Than I Deserve

By Kay Carey

How do you normally respond to “How are you?”?  For me, I automatically say “good” or “fine”. I believe that’s what most of us are used to hear and say without thinking too much. 

In September, I ran into a guy who works as the facility manager of the church which hosts a Community Bible Study (CBS) I attend every week. I asked him, “How are you doing this morning, Carl?” He responded with a big smile, “Better than I deserve”.  I was struck by his response and I found myself repeating the phrase in my mind over and over. 

I asked myself: Why was I so impacted that morning although I had heard him responding with this phrase before?  Let me explain.  His wife happens to be in my core group this year so that same week, I discovered that he was diagnosed with cancer and waiting to be treated.  Apparently, there was a tremendous shortage of radiation equipment to go around at the veterans’ hospital…he was number twenty-something on the waiting list.

Before and during the treatment, he continued his job around the church campus faithfully with a positive and cheerful attitude…greeting everyone with a big smile and saying “Better than I deserve”.  It’s been a hard journey for him and his wife but I am so thankful that he completed his many sessions of radiation and now the cancer is in remission.  What a wonderful example of bearing God’s grace and mercy during a time of need!    

Every time I share his story with others, it not only blesses my heart and theirs but it opens up the opportunity to explain the Good News. These four words are very powerful. We all deserve God’s fierce wrath without God’s mercy.  But God demonstrated His love and mercy through Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection.  Therefore, we are not utterly consumed but have an everlasting life and saved from what we deserve. 

Lamentations 3:22, 23 sums up this truth: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Let’s find His mercy and grace in our time of need like Carl and share His mercy and grace no matter what our circumstances in this fallen world.  So, next time when I greet you at church, are you ready to respond with “Better than I deserve”