Friday, April 1, 2011

Enduring IV

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  
what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?  -- Psalm 8:3-4
 Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1327) has supplied us with a sick man who refuses to ask God for healing.  The man has given three reasons for enduring his illness without divine intervention.  I've covered his first two reasons in parts II and III.  The man's third reason for not asking for help for himself has to do with him being too small to warrant God's help.  The man explains his insignificance like this:
...I am reluctant to ask the rich, loving and generous God for something as insignificant as this (his illness.)  ...Supposing I traveled to see the Pope one or two hundred miles away, and as I stepped before him, "Holy Father, I have made a difficult and costly journey of two hundred miles to see you and I beseech give me a single bean."  Indeed, he and everyone there who heard me would justifiably say I was a fool.  (Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings, p. 92)

Asking something for myself is always going to be insignificant on the scales of total human need; yet, this is a dismally pessimistic, non-Biblical view.    We believe God has the numbers of our heads each counted (Matthew 10:30.)  We believe that God IS mindful of each of us (Psalm 8:4).  We believe God cared so much for us that God sent His only Son specifically for each of us (John 3:16.)  We do not have to beat ourselves for our lack of worthiness.  We do not have to endure misery because we are somehow unimportant slugs that need to hide in a corner from Perfection.  Endurance is not from the place that God ignores the details of our situations.  We endure in trust and hope knowing we are beloved; that the victory will be won, and we will be enjoined to the Living God.  Enduring is perseverance in hope not insignificance, for we each one matter enough for God to have sent a Savior.

So, while we might endure our trouble and not ask for help out of supreme trust that God is mindful of us and acting for our good, we should not disdain asking because we're measly "beans" that God has no interest in whatsoever.  That's simply not true.  You are God's.  You are heard.

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