What Is It to You? by Debbie Stuart

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What Is It to You?
Series: Lessons Learned
Debbie Stuart
John 21 

Grab your Bible, and turn to John 21.

Lord, I pray you would show Yourself mighty on our behalf today, speak clearly and guard us from mistakes. May we delight in Your instruction and be quick to obey. 

I want to talk to you about something that happened to me one December years ago that has never happened before and has not happened since.

One of my other favorite things is to read through all the letters from friends and family back in Shreveport. Each year, I put them in a stack, get a cup of wassail and sit down with my favorite blanket in my rocker to enjoy and celebrate all the Lord has done in the lives of those I love and miss.

On this particular year, I got half-way through the stack and came to the letter from a dear family that had pictures of their children and grandchildren. This couple was about the age my parents would’ve been. They had great health and great jobs, as well as pictures of family vacations. They all live close to one another, and the letter described the perfect year for their family. That’s when the weird thing happened.

I can’t explain it exactly, but something in my heart broke. I found myself terribly offended at the Lord and at all the great things He had done for so many families. 

“How come you do this for some people but not me, not my family?” I thought to the Lord. My mom lost a battle with cancer when she was 40, when her first grandchild was 5 weeks old. My dad lost a long battle with alcoholism after years of disability on Father’s Day (of all days). We’ve never had a family picture made as adults. We’ve never been on a family vacation as adults. We’ve never lived close, and, truth is, we’ve never even been close.

Jesus said, “blessed is the one who is not offended by me” in Matthew 11:6 (ESV). (I was not particularly blessed that day.) Truth is, I had myself a little meltdown.

How come things have happened in my family like they have? Even though we love Jesus, have raised our kids in Church, had family devotions like James Dobson said, mamma sang bass – daddy sang tenor, we did the whole thing!

How come? How come it had to be the hard and painful way? And girl it no sooner came out of my mouth again when the Lord’s answer came loud and clear: 

Because You Are Chosen

Now the flesh side of me said, “Well, thrill. Pick somebody else!” (I’m spiritual like that).

But I quickly sensed His seriousness and shut my mouth. He said again: You are chosen! And, my friend, He has instructed me to tell you too: You are chosen. You!

You. The one that feels unloved, unwanted and wondering if the Lord even cares or sees or hears. I assure you, you are loved. You are seen.

“Surely oppression ...

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