Yesterday was meltdown number one in the series of meltdowns I am expecting in the next week. You see, I am taking Step 2 in a week; I am scrambling to find somewhere to do elective rotations; the residency application site has officially opened. And I am prepared for so little of it. So yesterday I found myself running across the city, trying to get some of my boxes checked off and trying to force some peace of mind. But the more I tried to “fix” what wasn’t going according to plan, the more my head buzzed. I was feeling helpless and freaked out, and I didn’t know where to turn, when I finally decided there really was only one thing that I could do in my situation: pray. So cliché, I know, but one hour, one WWI Memorial, and a couple Bible chapters later, my mind finally started to quiet down for the first time in a month.
How familiar does this sound? For me, it’s a story I’ve lived over and over.
We run to God when things are going crazy. We look for a Problem-solver when we find ourselves in desperation. But what about when things are going well? What about when everything finally seems to be in place? It is incredibly easy to forget about God when things in life are running smoothly, and to only look for Him when there’s a hitch in our plans.
I spoke to you in your prosperity,
But you said, ‘I will not hear.’
This has been your manner from your youth,
That you did not obey My voice.
How many of us does this sound like?
It’s great that we run to God when things aren’t going well. It’s a step in the right direction when we recognize our own weakness and where our strength comes from. The problem is when we forget all this because of how well things are going.
Our relationship with God is just that: a relationship. You know that saying, “a friend in need is a friend indeed”? Who came up with that? Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who only hangs around when he needs something? Who would put up with that friend? Not many of us do. And yet we are that friend constantly. We show up at church or finally open our Bibles when something isn’t going according to plan in our lives, and the moment the problem is solved, the Bible goes back on the shelf. Can you imagine how much that has to hurt? The one Person who has been present in all parts of our lives, the One who was beat up, spat upon, wounded and killed out of His incredible love for us, watches as we decide we no longer need Him because “I can handle life on my own.”
But here’s the good news. Jesus tells us, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). We have left. We have betrayed. But just as God accepted Israel after Israel played the harlot, He will accept us.
I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD.
Here is one of the many examples of when we betray, and He forgives. No matter how many times we have run away, no matter how many times we depended on ourselves or sought after someone else, when we come back we will be accepted.
It’s time to stop being a friend in need and to start being a friend indeed.