Sunday, September 22, 2013

On a Day Like This

This has been One of Those Days.  Physically, I've been "under the weather" (nothing serious, just uncomfortable and wearying).  I have an unnerving case of spiritual lethargy.  I am tired.  Emotionally, I'm on the blah side.  Mentally, I feel DULL. 

I wonder what St. Therese of Lisieux would have done with such a day.  Her physical pains far exceeded my own, yet she somehow managed to pray through them.  My prayer today is scattered and distracted.  It seems I can barely mutter (mentally) a "dear Lord" before I'm falling asleep.

And what about St. Margaret Mary?  She actually wanted suffering.  In moments of spiritual consolation, I have (almost) understood that desire.

On a day like this, however, I long for comfort, relief, and possibly a dose of chocolate to see me through.

Ah.  But it's not what will see me through that matters.  If I want to be a cloistered heart, what matters is what I am seeing through.

In other words, am I looking "through the grille" at pain, lethargy, dullness, and the blahs?

I grab onto my grillwork (pick up my Bible) to see what I find. 

"My grace is sufficient for you, for in your weakness My power reaches perfection."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Now, that is a striking piece of grillwork.  In my weakness, His power reaches perfection!  Not when I'm at my strongest, but precisely when I am weak!  Therefore, His power has quite a good chance of reaching perfection in me right now, on a day like this.  

So what do I do?  I have seen "through the grille."  Now how do I respond through it?

"Rejoice always, never cease praying, render constant thanks; such is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

In moments of weakness, this command could feel challenging.  Interesting, however, that I find myself encouraged by it.  Strengthened.  Empowered.  Ready to go through the rest of this day making aspirations (or at least intentions of aspirations, in case I actually need sleep) of thankful prayer.  Why?  Because this is God's will for me in Christ Jesus.  That is enough for me:  it is God's will. 

Interesting, too, that as I began this post (having no idea where it would be going), I didn't feel like writing or thinking.  But now, "two pieces of grillwork later," I'm already better.  I am making a decision, here and now, to do exactly what Scripture says.  

I am able to make a decision to thank God in the midst of my lethargy and my dullness.  

It is a decision that can only be made, with such freedom, on a day like this.  

Painting:  Elizabeth Forbes, The Leaf