Better Than I Deserve

On November 14th we had to say “goodbye for now” to one of the Saints of Bethel, Gordon Rutland. Gordon and Shirley Rutland were faithful attendees of our Sacred Circle on Wednesday evenings; in fact, they were always among the first to arrive. When they arrived, I’d always ask, “How are you two doing this evening?” Gordon’s answer was always, without fail, the same. He’d say,

Gordon Rutland
Gordon Rutland

“I’m better than I deserve.” I got so use to him saying it that I changed my greeting and I’d say, “Good evening Gordon, is it safe to assume that you’re better than you deserve?” He’d say, “Yes! I sure am.” One of the great privileges of being a pastor is getting to know and love folks like Gordon and Shirley. As I’ve grown to know Gordon, I realize why he used this greeting. He once told me that God has always taken care of him. He knew God would always take care of him and because of this he never worried. I said, “Gordon, really? You never worry?” He said, “Well something might come along and I’ll be concerned about it, and I’ll do all I can to fix the situation, but I always pray about everything, so why worry?” I thought, “Wow! This guy is amazing.” He also told me on several occasions that he didn’t know of another person alive who was as blessed as he was. If I were to choose one word to describe Gordon it would be: Grateful. 

As we turn the page to a new year, I want to affirm Gordon’s words. We are better than we deserve. You and I are recipients of God’s love and grace. God’s mercies are brand new each day. We have a God that cares for us, loves us, watches over us, and provides for us. He knows what we need before the thought is even in our minds. I pray that the next time we find ourselves worrying, that Gordon’s wise words might bring us back to the reality that we are better than we deserve. The next time we’re anxious, let’s remind ourselves of God’s grace, mercy, provision and love. If we really stop to think about all God has done, and is doing, I suspect we’d worry less, praise more and, in the end, we’d be grateful. On behalf of all of Bethel’s people I’d like to say, thank you Lord for all you do for us. We truly are better than we deserve. We love you and we’re grateful! Amen. May God bless the Rutland family. May God bless our Bethel Church family and may we all have a safe, healthy, prosperous, and blessed new year! 

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