Confession: I hate asking for sick time.
It feels like I have just become an inconvenience, and unless I’m puking or unable to stand, I feel a little like I’m playing hookey.
This week, niggling aches and pains from Monday night gradually grew and worsened until, by Thursday evening, I was lying twisted on the floor, a seven on the 10-digit pain scale. Even then, my stubborn self was trying to rationalize my way into going to work the next morning. (Don’t laugh–I know how ridiculous this sounds!)
Of course, I know that sick leave is there for when you are unwell, period. Time to recuperate is my benefit as a full-time worker, and using it does not mean I’m a lazy bum.
But while I know this makes logical sense, and while I would never dream of begrudging anyone of taking a sick day (or several), I always dread having to call in sick.
Because I’m learning to view my emotions more as helpful flags waving to indicate deeper stuff going on in my heart and less like annoying turbulence, I decided to ask Jesus about it.
Jesus, I said, why does this bother me?
I sat there for a while, listening, and realized some stuff.
First, I’m a chronic people-pleaser. If I am working, being productive, I am therefore a helpful person who can get stuff done and make people happy. If I’m not…well, just insert the opposite.
A second thing I realized is that while I love to talk about the unearned grace of God, my pride still doesn’t like it when I need grace. When I just can’t cut it, and I’m the lacking one, I cringe. Giving grace to others? I’m all about that. But receiving grace is tough. It means someone has to decide to extend mercy to me. It means I need forgiveness. It means I need.
That, however, is the whole point of why Jesus came. We couldn’t meet God’s standards in a million years, even if we had the chance to live our lives over and over again.
And this is why I must preach the Gospel to myself over and over again.
Cherise, you need grace. You lack. You are needy. Your best is not good enough. But there is wonderful, fantastic, unearned news–Jesus has already paid for all your failures! He never resents your need. Fall back on his grace, and rest.
This post is part of a writing challenge called Write 31 Days. To see other posts in the series, click here.
Photo credit: nerissa’s ring, (edits mine)