Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sweating the Small Stuff

"Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe." -- John 4:48
  We tend to get wrapped up in our spirituality with a need for evidence.  We look for the answered prayer -- answer being, of course, what we want to see happen in a particular situation.  If the prayer we say gets answered to OUR satisfaction, then God is real, God loves us, and our faith is vanquished such that we can continue in it.  But, we forget that God is infinite, with a knowledge that far exceeds even our capacity to imagine.  We can not usually even see what a good answer would be from the vantage point of the Eternal.  I was reminded of this by Julian of Norwich.  She wrote:
I requested to know whether a certain person whom I loved would continue to lead a good life, I hoped that she had already begun to do through God's grace.  And in this personal request it seemed that I stood in my own way, for I was not answered immediately.  Then I was answered: "Take these showings generally, and consider the kindness of the Lord God as He gives them to you, for it honors God more to have knowledge of everything in general than to take pleasure in any one thing in particular."  And if I were to follow this teaching faithfully I should neither rejoice over one special thing, nor be greatly distressed over anything of any kind, for "All is well"; for the fullness of joy is to see God in everything.
While God knows us intimately down the number of hairs on our heads, God's greatest pride and pleasure is our utter trust of Him in everything.  Anyone can rejoice over a happy outcome in life.  It requires true adoration of a greater God to trust Him in the worst of outcomes, and to know He has all the stuff of our lives covered with the larger picture.

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