For the past several weeks, despite soaring, unseasonable temperatures, it seems that everybody is sick. Stomach bugs, flu, bacterial infections, etc. Each time I hear or read someone bemoan the sickness in their home or complain of this winter as the worst ever for illness, I internally cringe. Because our family has enjoyed what is probably our healthiest winter ever. (Don’t get me wrong, there’s been migraines and sinus headaches, sniffles and coughs, an injured knee, recovery from oral surgery, and an epic and ongoing battle with warts. But all in all, super healthy.)
Now, I don’t consider myself a superstitious person, but I’m summoning all sorts of courage to type this. It feels like an invitation for a variety of degenerating, lingering, maleficent ailments to descend upon our home and ravage our bodies.
Why can’t I simply enjoy this unexpected winter free from the minor suffering sickness brings? Why do I sit and wait with worry for the proverbial shoe to drop?
We are admonished to trust God with the big things. The life or death stuff. The heady decisions. The mortal perils to body and soul. We’re reminded to go to God with the little things, the minor requests that are nonetheless important to us and therefore, to Him.
If we want to foster an attitude of gratitude, we remain mindful that all good things come from God. We grow in humility, optimism, and joy by recognizing that all the little things come from Him as well.
If I can trust God with the big things, good or ill, and I can go to him with the little things, in petition or gratitude, what keeps me from simply enjoying the little blessings?
The only answer I’ve discovered is a lack of trust. Despite what I know of the nature of God and His goodness, I relegate Him to a cold master, doling out rewards and punishments in an elaborate karmic game.
I’m by no stretch a great mother, but even I want joy for my children, allowing suffering only as a purposeful consequence to their actions that will result, I hope, in greater good. The same is true with God, to an infinitely greater degree.
So, if we survive the remainder of the season hale and hearty, I will trust in God and thank Him for this blessing. If tonight I’m awakened to the sound of a vomiting child or chills and fever, I will trust in God and thank Him for his blessing. And I will try, once again, to quit reducing God to “He Who Metes Out Justice.”
Was it just last Sunday that I heard this passage from Matthew’s Gospel?
“For he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and unjust.” Matthew 5:45
I’m not sure how many decades will be required for me to take to heart that God’s ways are not my ways or that He has crafted our lives and crosses with unique purpose. How many decades will be required for me to trust Him?
I’m at four and counting.
Do you find it hardest to trust God with – the good stuff? the bad stuff? the big stuff? or the little stuff?