Who Needs God When Life Is Good?
We’ve all been there. Life is sailing along. Sure, there are some bumps in the road here and there, but nothing traumatic. Congratulations, you’re winning at life!
Then, something happens. Maybe it’s a lost job or a bad diagnosis. Maybe it’s a broken relationship that doesn’t seem like it will ever heal. Suddenly, you don’t feel like you’re winning at life anymore. You turn to God in your time of trouble. And He’s there for you. He sends you help in some form – perhaps through the gift of inner peace amidst chaos, perhaps through a supportive friend, perhaps through a more direct solution to your immediate problem (a new job opportunity, a gifted doctor to see you through your treatment, an opportunity to mend that relationship…).
Over time, things start to settle down and life begins to smooth out again. You may or may not remember to thank God for His help. And, you move on. After all, you got this! God can take a day off. All the smooth things in your life are due to your hard work, not God’s Divine Assistance, right? Well…
I’ve been guilty of this so many times. I’ve called out to God for help in desperate times but forgotten about Him when things are good. I’ve been the fool who believes in the illusion of control over my own life, taking credit for “my” achievements.
When I do that, I’m forgetting that my relationship with God is all based on love. He loved me (& you) into existence just for the purpose of loving us and giving us the opportunity to love Him back. However, I find myself using God as a storehouse of help, not as a companion or a friend. Instead of a fair-weather friend, I turn Him into a foul-weather friend – only there when I need something from Him – rather than seeking His friendship just because I want Him in my life. Where is the love in that kind of relationship? The challenge I have is to remember to stay close to God even when I don’t think I need Him.
And here’s the surprise. The “good life” that I think I have isn’t nearly as good as it could be with God in my life. It’s like going in for your yearly check-up, feeling fine, and finding out that your cholesterol is sky high. You had no idea it was a problem. You thought everything was going great and that you were healthy. But, then you get help to get better, and, surprise, you feel better than you ever did before the physical.
It’s the same with God. Your “good life” is nothing compared to what it could be, partly because you don’t even know that anything is missing from your life. God sees where you need help even if you’re blind to it. And He knows your life could be so much better than it already is.
When life is hard, we need God. When life is good, we need God. Even when we don’t know we need Him, we need God.
This blog was written by Laura Nelson, Coordinator of Children’s Catechesis here at St. Francis of Assisi. If you’re interested in writing a blog for St. Francis of Assisi, please contact Joseph at [email protected].