I hate being sick. I mean, no one really likes being sick, right? This week it just seems to suck more than usual. This should be a crazy, fun week! I published a book! Yeah! Turkey hunting season is about to begin! Yeah! Both my kids are about to be drivers! Yeah (or not)! But nope, I’m sick with a head cold that is just a brute.
Life sucks. Seek God.
Maybe it was my kids sharing with me over the past few days their worries about the future. Maybe it was my own insecurities of publishing my own book. Maybe it is just this stupid cold. Whatever it is, I started thinking about the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.
Why do I say that? Because among all the things the valley of suck has taught me is I cannot sustain my faith - only God can do it. God’s grace sustains our faith. We can fall back on God precisely because God is THAT FATHER who does not abandon us; does not get upset when we say we wish he were dead or when we thumb our nose in God’s face for providing for us.
Call it grace by any name you like: common, prevenient, or original. Call it blueberry for all that it matters - while grace may provide the freedom to turn to God, it is still God’s grace and none of us have that in us by any measure other than what God gives to us. We so do not comprehend the fullness of grace.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:1-4)
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4)
I cannot sustain a simple practice of praying simple breath prayers when I’m sick with a cold for crying out loud! What kind of faithless fool am I?? How wounded and weak am I?? I cannot sustain even something so simple. No. I cannot.
And this is why we dare not depend on or put faith and trust into our spiritual practices - they do not make us holy. They do not make us “good Christians.” Our penance only states the fact of our fallenness, not our ability to forgive ourselves.
Life sucks and we seek God because God is precisely where we are going to receive our help. God’s grace alone has sustained me. The habits which nurture holiness are gifts of grace to growing a more intimate relationship with Immanuel. They do not save us or redeem us. They make us aware of how much more we need to seek God when life sucks.
To get Ken's new book Life Sucks Seek God click here to buy on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.
Image used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/tissue-box-1420439