This weekend I found myself wanting to make deals with God. I had a fairly nasty bout with a bug of the stomach nature, who also made itself at home in my small children – not the kind of hospitality we desire to practice in this house, and I found myself negotiating:
- “Okay, God, if you can make my gut solidify, I’ll do [enter such and such].”
- “How about if you make my intestines not sound like a bowling alley then I won’t do [enter such and such].”
- “What if I do [such and such] and don’t do [such and such], please oh please can I ingest something other than whole wheat ritz and powerade?”
And then there was the oh-so-self-sacraficial
- “If you please would heal my child, a noble request, I’ll stop asking/badgering for my own well being.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when your toddler has been awake, puking, and making an “enh enh enh” noise for 10 hours straight.
God is a covenantal God, I reasoned: why can’t we covenant about nausea and gastrointentional distress? God made covenants with the Israelites: “if you will worship me alone, I will be your God and you will be my people.” Which in my head means that I should be able to whip out the Covenant Card, notice that a covenental relationship bars me from discomfort – emotional, physical, spiritual – especially if I meet up my end of the bargain.
But it doesn’t, really. And I never can truly hold up my end of the bargain of my own strength. In the midst of a self-pity-party I was listening to last week’s sermon from Imago Dei. At some point the pastor mentioned how *all* *things* come from Christ, including our faith. That we are not strong enough to sustain faith, but Christ is, and is interceding for us, and we partner with Christ in that effort – it’s not solely of our own will.
The Israelites never lived up to their end of the covenant, and I don’t know that they were meant to. It’s almost more that God put out this impossible goal so they could realize the impossible nature of it, and then to for God to provide the means of it – Himself. Christ is more than equipped and ready and in process of making us God’s people. But that means we don’t get a say in how that looks: doesn’t mean we get a Covenental Card disclaimer of discomfort.
Interesting things to think about, and a little distracting from the gurgles.