My Grace Is Sufficient

Pain has been my companion for the last few months. I’m thinking it has overstayed its welcome. Hmm…I’m hoping to make it to 50 years old before completely coming unglued. I recently had an MRI to see if we could discover what was causing my lower back pain, but the only answer that came back was that, “you’re getting older.” Well, duh. Aren’t we all?

I’m bordering on complaining here and alas, I believe that everything can be our teacher if we allow it to. So what have I been learning? For one thing I am learning that I am no longer 20 years old and capable of doing anything I feel like physically and not set off a corresponding set of sore muscles and aches and pains.

I’m also learning to ask for help. Maybe I don’t need to heave that 50-pound bale of shavings around by myself or shovel a dump truck load of sand by hand, or bounce around on the tractor mowing for three hours. Perhaps I’m even learning that moderation in all things is a good idea.

I’m learning that many folks struggle with chronic pain on a continual basis and they learn to handle it with grace and without complaint. I am not my aches and pains. I am not my body. I am not my feelings about my body or my pain.

The list could go on, but I think you get the idea. The real challenge on the spiritual path is whether or not that we believe that God’s grace is sufficient for our needs. We frequently want grace that is sufficient for the rest of our lives—a whole backyard full of grace just so we can feel comfortable that there will be enough for every eventuality. But, of course, grace comes measured out in just sufficient amounts to deal with our need of the moment.

Isn’t that just the way of Spirit? Always present. In the now. For the moment. Just like our breath. We fill our lungs with air—to capacity—and then we breathe out. Grace is just like our breath. The Spirit moves in with our breath—fills us—and then we breathe again. It is a dance, really, a graceful, ever-present dance with the Divine.

God’s goodness and sufficiency and ever-sustaining breath filling us, moment by moment, giving us the strength—the grace—to cope with the now. When we focus on the breath, we find the secret for being filled with grace that is sufficient.