Is it My Turn Now?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28
So I walk into Hardees to buy some chicken for my two young ones. When I get there, there’s already a dude standing in line. He’s standing pretty far to the left of the registers so I figure he is already waiting for his food. Well, the cashier walks over to me and asks me for my order. I order, then go sit down and wait. I hear the cashier ask the dude in front of me what he would like. That’s when I hear very loudly (so I could hear) “Oh, is it my turn now?” One disgusted glance later, I realize what had happened. This guy was in line. He was patiently waiting his turn. He got passed by.
I sat there and thought for a bit about my life. How many times have I felt like God wasn’t being fair to me? How many times have I felt like He was putting someone less deserving before me? “I’m the next in line, God!” Yes, I have felt like God was that particular cashier many times.
I guess it all started in college. I hated watching others leave high school and get a decent paying job. It seemed that they could go buy all kinds of cool stuff and there I was sitting in a college classroom. It honestly felt like I was being ripped off at the time. I probably didn’t complain too much about this because at least I could see the light at the end of that tunnel. Then, I started watching my friends in our early twenties get married, yet I didn’t even have a serious girlfriend. I tried to act cool about it, but I was really thinking “when will it be my turn?” I never gave God a disgusted glance, but He knew that I owned a heart that didn’t fully trust Him.
Then, came the biggie. When Tonya and I decided it was time to have children, I found out making healthy babies wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it would be. When Tonya first got pregnant, I thought it was finally “my turn.” One miscarriage later, I gave God that disgusted glance, but I let it slide (I’m sure He was intimidated) The next pregnancy came pretty quickly. I felt once again like it was finally my turn. Another miscarriage later, my attitude toward God went sour. I watched teenagers become pregnant left and right, saw my friends with their children, and honestly felt like the guy standing in line in front of me at Hardees. The only difference was, I had to keep watching people get “served” behind me. All this made me pretty angry at the God who at the time was “The Big Cashier in the sky.” He was there to serve me and was doing a terrible job.
It is amazing how two little babies that never made it here can teach a man probably the greatest lesson he has ever learned in this life. I know now why He allowed others to pass me in line. He knew that all of this would finally drive me to a place of true intimacy with Him. I would finally realize that God doesn’t owe me anything. He is not a genie in the sky waiting for me to rub him correctly so he can grant my wishes. He alone is the prize. These difficult times drove me to Him. I talked to Him, wrote songs to Him, wrote letters to Him, and read His Word more than any other point in my life. I am still amazed that the God of the Universe wants that with each and every person who has become His child through receiving His Son, Jesus Christ.
So, one more journey down memory lane later, my food was ready. I went up to get it, handed the cashier some cash, and asked her to give it to the guy who was in front of me when she brought him his food.
Did he deserve it? No.
Then again, neither did I.