(i.e finances, illness, relationships, employment......),
and how we handle those dilemmas also tell us a lot about our faith life.
When life throws that curve ball at us, as life always does, do we turn to God for support and help, or do we try to rely on our own powers to solve the problem?
Can it not be said that God either wills all things to be done to us, or allows us through our own free will to make mistakes, and that all these situations are for the development of virtue and growth in our lives, and that we should not be afraid of these struggles, but welcome them.
Right, easier said than done.
Don't we all want an easy life, always wanting to feel secure in our relationships, always wanting to have enough money to pay the bills, and always feeling healthy.
But there is truth in the idea that God will always take care of us.
Maybe not the way we think we want to be taken care of,
but He will be there.
Is there a lesson that so many of us are in need of learning;
To really let go of the overly controlling nature that many of us have.
I don't mean that you should forget about paying your bills, or stop working at a relationship, but to open our thoughts and hearts to God and ask him to help us to understand what he is trying to teach us.
There are many things that happen in life due to our poor planning and due to our mistakes, especially when we look in retrospect, but there are also many things in life that just happen due to circumstances beyond our control.
So how do we react to those difficult situations?
I often need to remind myself to not stress out too much. Stress in itself does not help the situation, and can often have a paralyzing effect. I sometimes think that worry and stress are a tool of the devil. He can plant a seed of worry and doubt and then watch it grow
and eat away at a person.
I also need to remind myself that in the difficult times, to not spend so much time trying to figure out an plan of correction all on my own, but rather to dedicate even more time to my relationship with God.
That means, when I feel stress, don't convince myself that I need more sleep and to stop going to morning mass, but rather to ensure that I attend mass and to listen even more attentively to the words of God at the mass. To not avoid my morning or evening prayers, but rather to include my suffering and fears into those prayers and ask for His support and guidance. (Ask and you shall receive....)
For me, times of trial are a reminder of just how fragile we can be, just how self-centered and arrogant we can be, and a reminder that without Christ, I would be left to my own abilities, my own short-comings, my own brokenness, and would be doomed to my own self-destruction.
Maybe I will never be able to welcome trials in my life, but they do serve a purpose in the larger picture of my salvation and personal growth toward holiness.
I must also keep in perspective, when I mention struggles, in so many ways I have been sheltered by the grace of God from the huge struggles and awful situations that so many are faced with....... Thank you Lord for that, although, who really benefits the greatest in respect to growth toward holiness and virtue, the sheltered or the bearer of great trials?
I have so much to learn,
but I do try to keep good company along the way.+