Have you ever had it happen that when life seems to be going good you conveniently forget God? But the moment things start heading south, praying, Scripture reading, and, well, crying out to the Lord almost seems automatic.
Maybe that’s a bit too drastic, but I’ve had this happen many times in my life. Sure, I will praise God and seek after Him when life is going well, but it just doesn’t have the same focus and intensity as when life and the world is bringing you down. This is where I find a certain aspect of God’s grace I’ll call Gracious Grace. It is analogous to a child only coming to his/her parents when they are hurt. Or a wife only coming to the husband when she needs something. That’s not right. That is a dysfunctional, parasitic relationship. I wouldn’t appreciate that kind of relationship and I am sure you wouldn’t either. In the same way, we shouldn’t have this kind of relationship with God. Yet, God in His infinite love will continue to pour out His gracious grace to us.
We seek God more in times of trials and tribulations, when maybe we should actually be seeking Him all the time in every aspect of our life.
There’s another side to this story that I was thinking about. Is this actually the way God designed it? Or another way of putting it is, “Is God okay with it this way?” After all, He is God and we desperately need grace. There are also Scripture passages where God’s grace seems to be more prevalent. Take the Exodus story for example.
Exodus 2:23-25 says: “Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.
It sure seems like the Scriptures portray God listening to them more because of their suffering and pain. Maybe the Lord knows what we need and knows how we are going to react.
To reconcile everything together I propose two points. One, I think it comes down to a maturity issue. I think we need to ‘love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and mind.’ Praise Him in the good times and the bad. He is God. If we are seeking Him through it all, I think He will be honored and pleased whenever we come to Him. And He will continue to show us grace whether we deserve it or not.
Two, our relationship with God is heavily one sided. We fall drastically short while God’s love and grace is going to surpass anything we can imagine. It will surpass anything and everything we need. It is infinite. Remember this and things suddenly become clear.
In the end, I think I already have some thoughts to this idea. But for now it is just something to mull over.