Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trust in God

By Colleen O’Sullivan
… Saul answered David, “You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”  David continued:  “The Lord, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”  Saul answered David, “Go!  The Lord will be with you.” (1 Samuel 17:33-37)

(Jesus) said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.”  Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”  But they remained silent.  Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”   (Mark 3:3-5)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

In first grade, it was those big, tall third graders down the hall and on the playground.  Years later, it was going away to school in another part of the country.  Then, before I knew it, school days were over and I was an adult, out in the world, on my own, becoming a pastor of a church for the first time.  Fast forward a little over a decade and it was figuring out how to leave my church members and come back to the Catholic Church.  As I’ve grown older, there’ve been losses of beloved friends and family members. Only a few years down the pike, retirement is looming. 

There are many Goliaths in every one of our lives, hurdles that loom large on our horizons, anxiety-producing specters.  When I look back, I realize I’ve survived all these hurdles that seemed so insurmountable at the time, some better than others.  And the truth is, the ones I came out better on were the things I entrusted to God.  David was right to put his confidence in the God who had already saved him from many dangers.  That trust in the Lord was what enabled the young man to go out and face the Philistine’s infamous giant.

When we read the psalms attributed to David, it’s fairly obvious that God wasn’t someone he merely believed in.  God was someone with whom he had an intimate relationship, so much so that he felt free not only to praise his Creator, but to pour out his despair and even anger at times.  That’s the type of relationship Jesus would like to have with each of us, one so close that we are able to share all the details of our lives with him – the good, the bad and the ugly.  We see in today’s Gospel reading how compassionate and caring our Savior is.  He is ready to heal our ills, to stand by us as we confront the Goliaths in our lives.  He is there waiting for us every moment of every day, seven days a week.  

Going through life with a pull-up-your socks, go-it-alone attitude is unnecessarily difficult.  It’s no way to live and it doesn’t help us face down the inevitable Goliaths along life’s way.  Jesus desires to be our friend and stronghold.  A wonderful book I can recommend on this subject is A Friendship Like No Other by William A. Barry, S.J.

Today is the March for Life in Washington, DC.  Pray for the safety and well-being of all those gathered from across the nation in these frigid temperatures.

No comments: