24 January 2011

Expect only good from God in every situation

During a recent meeting, my Father Confessor made available to me the "Preparation for Confession" questions based on the Ten Commandments. Although such a sophisticated Christian as myself knows her sins well, it had been a while since I'd looked over the questions. Shockingly, I ran into this: Do I expect only good from God in every situation?

Ahem. No. Well, yes, in some very pious, spiritual way. But not when it comes to this rotten afternoon and the grinding noise from the dishwasher and my achin' back. Not when it comes to thinking about what an EPT with two lines would mean (less the immeasurable gift--that old thing). Not when it comes to my fear of something much worse than the normal wear of a pregnancy. Not when it comes to my worldly-wise impulse to quit while I'm ahead, to take my five healthy kids and still functional body and tragedy-free procreative history and run.

So there it was, another sin to confess, another infidelity of which to repent. Expect only good from God in every situation--no matter what has happened to me before, no matter what I've heard about happening to other people, no matter that as a Lutheran of Lutherans I am an excellent theologian of the cross and know better than to think God will conjure me a sparkly pink Panzer if I trust him enough. The theology of the cross does not mean that I should cry all night about the mud pie I'm going to make myself for breakfast. What sick freak eats mud pies when she hasn't even bothered to check the pantry for Cheerios?

8 comments:

Kristen said...

I just went to confession, too, and I realized that I thought this very way. My church background is baptist/reformed, and I think I expected that if I ask for good things, of course I will get them. Very humbling.

Aubri said...

I repent of one more infidelity along with you. I get so entangled in this sin. So many days I seem to be waiting for the hammer to drop. Asking myself if I'll eat my mud pie with a fork or a spoon. I wonder how I can be so blessed with a godly husband, 3 healthy children, a 4th child on the way in our short 4 years of marriage. My pregnancies and deliveries have gone very well so I have doubts that this one will. I feel terrible about that. I struggle with fears, how can my body keep doing this? How can I keep being open to God's will over my womb? It's scary to feel alone in the decisions my husband and I have made that no one else around us understands or really even supports. All I've got is daily contrition and repentance, daily drowning my old Adam, daily praying "Lord have mercy on me a sinner."

Untamed Shrew said...

"Not when it comes to my worldly-wise impulse to quit while I'm ahead...to take my healthy kids and still functional body...and run."

spot on. A fellow LCMS PW told me that the Bible says "Don't be afraid" (or equivalent) 365 times. I don't know if she's right. But for now, I'm going to pretend that I'm not terrified.

And I'm going to pray for Christine who is now 8-ish weeks along after 5 miscarriages. If she doesn't expect only good from God, I'll cut her some slack.

Leah said...

Ever since my twelve year old nephew died of cancer about three years ago, I feel like I am shakily holding onto God's hand as each week and month passes, knowing there are no guarantees, just praying, praying with all my sinful heart that God will spare us certain things. But I know I have no control. (And I can't even begin to imagine how my sister must feel about it all.)
I guess we are just literally meant to hold to God "in naked trust", as Luther says.

As to God's "goodness"...

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:9

Elizabeth said...

"Such a sophisticated Christian as myself knows her sins well".

Love that. Totally understand where that came from. Gonna go do some confessing now.

Reb. Mary said...

Off to go scrape the mud pie into the garbage again. Sigh.

etem said...

shoot.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, and as I was pondering this, Job came to mind. "Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" (which is ironically prefaced with "you are talking like a foolish woman") Job 2:10