"He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion." Ps 103: 3-3
Knowing or grasping God completely is impossible, but we must keep trying, and the scriptures offer us any number of images of God all of which can help at different times in our lives. Psalm 103 asks us to imagine God as a healer, someone who is anxious to be with us and make us whole. No matter how broken our life might feel, God's compassion and kindness will triumph over the darkness if only we only God to be God.
At the same time, no matter how hard we try, there are times when God's healing seems far away. A friend has recently been diagnosed with cancer of the bone and the doctors are not yet sure how much the cancer has spread. Living with this kind of uncertainty is trying at best, and depressing at worst. When news of our own frailty or the serious illness of friends emerges, it strikes us like a hammer, and our spirits are often numb as we try to process what is happening,
In between times, those moments when we do not know what we are facing, are frightening and confusing. Some friends will encourage us to think of the glass as half full. Other will push us to face the reality of our life leaking away, and while both can be helpful, we may not be able to handle much of anything until our spirits catch up with your minds and bodies. The unembellished truth that God wants to heal us may feel like empty words.
The simplest response we can make to times of struggle and confusion is usually the best. Ask for the grace to accept whatever is happening in your life and you can be sure, no matter how weak your prayer might feel, that it is what God ask of each of us. If we only thank God when we are feeling good about ourselves or our families, if we only praise God when life is going according to our plans, our faith will be unable to navigate the turbulent waters of doubt. God is merciful. God is kind. God understands and wants only to be close to us at all times, no matter where we are.
Today, ask God to let you know how close God is.
What images of God help you most to live life honestly as it happens?