Our family had a nasty stomach bug going around last month and its final victim was our daughter. I was awoken by a scream in the night and opened her door to find her sitting in her crib, covered in vomit, crying and totally helpless. Poor thing.
As we got her undressed, cleaned up, changed, and comforted, I couldn’t help but think of our spiritual state in this world:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” Job 1:21
“Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” Psalm 39:5
“All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.” Isaiah 40:6
There’s this passage in Ezekiel where God says to Jerusalem, “On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, ‘Live!'” (Ezekiel 16:4-6)
I think that when we stand before God we’re going to be amazed by how much was grace. All these things we thought we managed, we produced, we accomplished, we took care of…in the end we’ll find that it was God who took care of us.
Grace is a given in the Christian life but our awareness of it is not. We’re prone to forget where we came from, where we’re headed, and why. We begin by responding to God but somewhere along the way we start expecting him to respond to us – as though he should be impressed by our good works.
“How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” Galatians 3:3
Kate won’t remember throwing up in her crib but I hope I never forget. It’s a picture of our need for God and his grace which lifts, cleans, comforts, and restores.