Be honest, don’t most people prefer a lovely sweet something (dessert) after dinner to a barren place (desert)? Maybe not everybody. I have met people who insist they don’t care for sweets. As difficult as that is for me to imagine, I will accept it. I have also met people who like barren places and the truth is that sometimes that is exactly what I crave as well, but ultimately dessert always trumps in my book.
This morning I began to think about the phrase “just desserts”. Or is it “just deserts”? I didn’t know and had to look it up. It seems to me I have always heard “just desserts” and there is a reason for that. Apparently the phrase is spelled “just deserts” but pronounced “just desserts”. So we’re both right. Sort of. (Although spellcheck doesn’t think so.) http://www.snopes.com/language/notthink/deserts.asp When we get what we deserve, good or bad, we are getting our just deserts. Of course we often do not get what we deserve in this life.
Sometimes we are denied good things that everyone else seems to get, things that we work hard for, things that no matter what we try we can’t seem to attain. Sometimes we do not get what we long for most in life. We get other things instead, but it’s not the same.
Sometimes we escape the judgment we so richly deserve. We aren’t caught. We aren’t convicted. We aren’t sentenced.
We rarely get our just deserts with God. God lavishes us with good things. God sees and hurts because of all our mistakes and deliberate disobedience. God is merciful. There may indeed be consequences, but not the kind of consequences we really deserve.
Today’s reading is Hebrews 4:14-5:9. Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we may receive mercy.