As I write this, I have to confess that I’ve come down with the flu. It’s inevitable though, right? Getting sick from time to time seems to be a part of life.

Among all of the tissues and tea and cough drops, I’ve realized that I simply cannot handle everything that gets thrown at me. I am unable to compartmentalize myself enough to separate “sick me” from “needs-to-get-things-done me.” We are whole people after all, and no matter how hard I try, this task of self-separation cannot be done.

So now what? In the midst of sickness or illness or pain what do we do? What if I simply can’t accomplish everything I feel I should? This weekend I realized the thing I really needed was not more flu medicine but grace. There is grace for this flu season and grace for this season of life.

As I’ve become so blatantly aware of my limitations for the moment, the reality that I need to give myself the grace God has already lavished upon me has come to the forefront of my mind. Yet I believe there’s a much longer-term application that needs to be made.

We’re always going to feel like we could be doing more “if only [fill in the blank]…” For me, and many others, this fill-in-the-blank is tied to serious or chronic illness. It reaches into every aspect of your life and maybe seems to scream, “You’re not good enough! You need to do more! Why aren’t you just trying harder?” This is not the voice of God. The voice of God is filled with grace for our limitations because he knows how he has made us, even in our points of physical weakness. I would go so far as to say that he is even more understanding of our weaknesses than we are. If he can give us grace, than we should follow suit and do the same.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  Psalm 103:13-14 (NIV).