I’ve had a number of what I call "blah" days over the last year or so. It’s not a persistent thing, I’ve just got some things going on in my life that aren’t much fun and bring me down from time to time.
When something new happens, some reminder that life is not what I expected or think it should be, it can really throw me for a loop. And before I know it, I’m a snowball tumbling down the mountain, becoming more packed in upon myself. All I can see are my problems.
"I can’t believe this is happening to me. This isn’t how my life was supposed to go. How in the world did I end up like this? How can it be this way? Nothing is ever going to go my way, everything is just so stacked against me" The litany can go on for hours.
So then I talk to my friend, Pr. Bloghardt, hoping to get some comfort and encouragement in the depths of my woe. I want to be told it’s going to be OK…that things will get better soon – I just have to hold on a little bit longer. I want to hear that God didn’t mean things to be this way for me, that I don’t deserve it.
And what does he do?
He calls me faithless! ME. Faithless! Unbelieving. Idolatrous. He tells me I’m despising the Lord’s gifts. And THEN (as if that wasn’t enough) he has the gall to tell me to repent. How dare he? Doesn’t he know how bad things are?
It’s about at this point that I am ready to tear into him and tell him where he can go take a flying leap, where I’m about to call him every name I can think of…that the Holy Spirit always manages to get through to me with Law he’s very pointedly hammered me with. I realize he’s right.
(Of course, this just makes me mad. I HATE being wrong. Especially if my little..er…younger "brother", Bloghardt, is the one who was right. Fortunately, this is a pastoral thing and he doesn’t tease me about being wrong. Usually.)
But he’s right. As much as I don’t like being on the receiving end of such a gift, I need to be chastised when I am sinning. Yes, sinning.
My "blah" days tempt me into despair, into unbelief, and idolatry. When life in this sinful world throws me for a loop, I take my eyes off Christ for me and get sucked into all my trials and tribulations. When things aren’t going the way I want them to, I all too easily forget that I have a heavenly Father who loves me and has spared nothing for me – including His only-begotten Son. And all of this shows just how self-centered I truly am, to think that I am somehow the one really in control of my life, that everything should work together and end up the way I want, and I’m really the only one who knows what’s really best for me.
So I repent and receive absolution. Sometimes I even feel better afterwards. Most times it’s still a struggle, even just a few minutes later. But I have been reminded that I am baptized, my sins have been forgiven, I have a dear heavenly Father who only gives me gifts that are good for me…even when they sting…and even sometimes from voice of Pr. Bloghardt.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)