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Posts Tagged ‘trusting God’


Lamentations 3:25: Seeking God

Friday, August 16, 2019

Good is the Lord to one who waits for God, to the soul that seeks God.

If we might persevere long enough, if we might encourage one another often enough, if we might remain constant beyond the required time . . . then will our enemies shrink into darkness and our troubles slither away.

God says: I know how hard you work at remaining faithful to me.  I understand how difficult it is to hold out hope in the darkest of times.  I know that others will tug at you to pull you down and away from me.  None of this matters because my healing love for you endures forever.  You are a pearl of great price and I am willing to pay a great ransom to have you with me.  This is a truth you can rely on; it is a reality you can believe.  Seek me before all else.  I will wait for you for an eternity. 

God calls us to his side . . . so let us go.

God looks for us fervently . . . so let us seek.

God loves us forever . . . so let us love.

Amen.

For more encouraging words that bring us comfort and hope, go to: http://www.comfortingwords.com/verse_of_the_week.htm


A re-post from July 26, 2012.

Image from: http://www.comfortingwords.com/verseLamentations3_25.htm

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Daniel 5The Writing on the Wall

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

This famous scene of Daniel interpreting the writing on the wall is familiar to all of us. So familiar that the phrase is part of our idiom catalog. How many times have we seen “the writing on the wall,” or wished that someone else would!

This book is full of ideas and stories that we have assimilated fully into our North American thinking. This particular chapter is a mini-drama which comes to a full meaning if you have a study Bible with good notes. The three letters of the alphabet which are written by an unseen hand on the wall of the Babylonian court where the wild partying is happening with the vessels from the Jerusalem temple are: mene, tekel, and peres. They are the Aramaic names of Middle Eastern measures, weights and monies: the mina, the shekel (a 60th part of a shekel), and the parsu (a half-shekel). Daniel interprets them in the following manner: mene, connecting with the verb “to number,” tekel, the verb “to weigh,” and peres, with the verb “to divide.” And the New American Bible footnotes also tell us that peres is a further play on the word for Persians.

Rembrandt: Belshazzar’s Feast

Daniel warns the Babylonians that their days are numbered, that they have been measured and found wanting, and that they will be divided. All bad news. And this prophecy is fulfilled swiftly at the end of the chapter. Looking forward into Chapter 6, we can see that Daniel, who has been elevated to a place of high standing because of his closeness with God and his ability to understand and interpret God’s message, is brought down by jealous courtiers. He is subjected to a trial in the den of lions but is saved by God. And this trial makes him all the more valuable to the new king, Darius. Once again we see the theme of reward through suffering. Once again we see that God’s discipline, to which we subject ourselves through obedience and fidelity, serves to transform us in a mystical way. Once again we hear that when we trust in God and follow his call, all will be well. In fact, it will be better than well . . . it will be more than we could have imagined. We are not only restored to a former self, we are amplified many times over.

We must let go of the tiny things of this world, and we must let go of our ego with which we trick ourselves into thinking that we are in control. We must let go of any worldly idea or object which we worship more than God. We must see that we are wanting if we do not walk in total concord with God’s request that we love one another, even those who attack us. We must put aside our anxiety, our worry, our willfulness, and our pride-of-self in order to best receive The Word which saves and restores.

And so we pray, heavenly Father who guides and protects us. Listen to our prayer. Number our days with you in eternity as infinite ones, measure our intention rather than our actions so that when you measure us we may not be found wanting, and bring us union with all members of your Mystical Body. We ask this through the intercession of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Images from: http://www.thepropheticscroll.org/home/index.php/component/content/article/50-general/172-edition-71.html and http://www.thepropheticscroll.org/home/index.php/component/content/article/50-general/172-edition-71.html 

To learn more, click on the images and follow the links or go to: http://www.bibleinsight.com/menep1.html or the Daniel – God Calls the Faithful and the Faithless page on this blog.

A re-post from February 12, 2012. 

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Luke 4:1-13The Test

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Tissot: Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness

As we begin a new year, let us prepare ourselves to be tested as Christ’s followers . . . and let us watch the Master as he interacts with Satan.  This reflection was written in January 2010 and is posted today as a Favorite . . .

Today we watch as Satan tests Jesus, hoping to tempt him into succumbing to his control.  We hear Jesus remind Satan that he cannot test God.  Even after his failure, Satan departed from him until an opportune time.  The devil never gives up . . . nor does God.

St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians (10:9), reminds us of this again.  In 2 Corinthians (2:9) he encourages us to be stalwart so that we might withstand our own test and temptation.  In 8:8 and 13:5 he recommends that we test our own spirit to see where it needs bolstering.  In Galatians 6:4 he again suggests that we test ourselves.  To the Thessalonians he says: Test everything.  Hold on to the good and avoid every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

St. James (1:12) lauds the holy one who can withstand the test. 

St. John in 4:1 of his first letter writes that we are to test false prophets and stray spirits to examine the origin and veracity of their authority.

Jesus cites Deuteronomy 6:16 when he reminds the devil that we are to refrain from testing God.  We are to obey the commandments, to do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord.  In the Old Testament, this clinging to commandments and laws brought God’s protection and defense.  In the New Testament we realize that we are graced with God’s protection as a birthright; we receive uncounted blessings each day . . . even in the midst of suffering.

All of this testing of self and this refusal to test God takes a great deal of effort, and by the end of each day we may be fatigued from holding firm and maintaining our own appropriate behavior.  Spiritual exhaustion may accompany a life of trust in God, patience with his creatures, and perseverance in living a life of charity.  It is for this reason that we must refill the well and give ourselves permission to rejuvenate the spirit.  Perhaps when our nerves are frayed we ought to take this as a sign that we need to retreat from life for a bit.

When Jesus is tempted by Satan, he replies: One does not live by bread alone; worship the Lord your God and serve him only; and do not put the Lord your God to the test.

When we feel ready to explode, about to fall apart, or are just plain exhausted, we might repeat these words to ourselves and follow them with . . . if this is a test, dear Lord, give me the grace, the peace and the will to follow you, to know that you will convert all harm to good, and to know that we need trust only you. 

In this way, we may pass each test that comes our way.  


A we move through the opening days of a new year, we re-post this reflection from January 3, 2012. 

Image from: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/4453/Jesus_Tempted_in_the_Wilderness_J%C3%A9sus_tent%C3%A9_dans_le_d%C3%A9sert 

For more images of Jesus from the Brooklyn Museum, click on the image above or follow this link: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/4453/Jesus_Tempted_in_the_Wilderness_J%C3%A9sus_tent%C3%A9_dans_le_d%C3%A9sert

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Matthew 5:17-37: Putting it All Together

Friday, February 24, 2017puzzle-pieces

If we find ourselves confused when we look to God’s Law for direction, we must consider Jesus as the Living Law of God.

I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama.

If we find ourselves confused when we search to God’s Law for answers, we must consider Jesus as the exemplar of all creation.

God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.

If we find ourselves in pain when we look to God’s Law for solace, we must consider Jesus as God’s answer to the corruption the world gives us.

Take God’s law seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.

If we find ourselves anxious about God’s Law and its consequences, we must consider the integrity and authenticity of Jesus.

You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say “yes” and “no”. When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

If we find ourselves at peace in giving ourselves over completely to God’s Law, we realize that we have put it all together.

When we compare differing translations of these verses, we begin to synthesize Jesus’ message to bring it into our hearts . . . we begin to put God’s message together. 

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Matthew 6:25-34: Dependence on Godmy child I have this

April 30, 2015

This is the most basic lesson we have to learn as followers of Christ; and it is the lesson with which we struggle most frequently: Do not worry about your life . . . Are you not more important than [the birds in the sky]?  Yet we allow our fears about our survival to color what we do rather than allowing God to be the ultimate guide of our actions.

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life span?  We are powerless when it comes to time and space and yet we allow magical thinking to convince us that we can control the clock, that we can control our physical space.

If God so clothes the grass of the fields . . . will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?  Yet we store up and hoard our resources without sharing, thinking that this will keep us safe from disaster.

All of these things [worry about food and clothes] the pagans seek . . . But seek first the kingdom [of God] . . . and all of these things will be given you besides.   We delude ourselves when we give credit to ourselves for the home in which we live, the clothes we wear and the vehicle we drive.  We forget that if we did not have the brain power and sense of aesthetics given us by God, our redemption given us by Christ and the good counsel given us by the Spirit . . . our circumstances would certainly be different.  Too much stress keeps us from seeing that we are already given more than what we seek.

living in god's care - handsDo not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.  We lend ourselves to prideful thinking when we take credit for all we have and do.  We must allow God to be our sole guide in all matters of the heart, mind and soul.

Sufficient for a day is its own evil.  Allowing anxiety to take us over is a sign that we do not believe that God will care for us . . . and this self-sufficiency can separate us from God.

Just yesterday evening at a gathering of friends, as an acquaintance was voicing her fears for the present and future, another member of the group said:  Well, now you have the opportunity to learn the most important lesson of all . . . trusting God.  The first woman replied:  I thought I had already learned that one.  Several of us – those who have been guided by the suffering we have experienced – smiled and nodded.

matthew_6_25_34_by_hopedreamer17-d2yj65tAnd so we reflect . . . We want to avoid suffering at all cost – not realizing that it is the suffering that brings us best to God. 

And so we pray . . . These are hard sayings . . . these are the lessons of Christ’s disciples . . . these are the gifts of a life lived hard and well . . . a life lived in Christ.  Amen. 

A Favorite from June 16, 2010.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The-least-of-things-with-a-meaning-is-worth-more-in-life-than-the-greatest-of-things-without-it.[1]Job 8:21

At First Glance

Once more God will fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with rejoicing.

In a world that yearns for the best, the most, the highest, the tallest, the greatest in all things, we lose sight of the tiny and what appears to be unimportant.  God’s plan always works through inversion; God transforms our suffering and brings forth joy; God calls the smallest of us for the greatest of tasks.  We have the choice to choose the false life of bigness or the eternal life of the seemingly insignificant.

God says: Do you not see the many little miracles in which you take part with me each day?  I know. The same blindness overcame the first apostles until I sent them out in twos to heal and cure.  They, like you, are still surprised when I invite them to join me in my Way of Love.  But you see that I must send you into the world so that you will fully experience my presence in the healing you do each day.  My loyal servant Job was seen as a sinner by his friends . . . and they erred in their thinking.  Job’s loyalty and unwavering fidelity kept him bound to me.  His family, friends and foes saw only pain where Job saw possibility.  Job remained in the world and allowed me to bring him to his fullness.  My goodness calls forth laughter from your tears.  Your constancy calls forth rejoicing from your sorrow.  You must go out as I have asked . . . and you must trust me.

This is a difficult lesson to learn and it requires much trust.  When we have the time to read Job’s entire story we see that God does indeed abide with the little and the small.  We will see that God cares for the marginalized and the dispossessed.  God brings laughter and rejoicing to those who experience anxiety and pain.  What appears at first glance to be insignificant is – in the scope of eternity – the greatest of all.

For more reflections, enter the word inversion in the blog search bar and explore.

For more Carl Jung quotes, click on the image above or go to: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Carl_Jung or http://www.lushquotes.com/quote/carl-jung_MTI1OTYy.html

information on the life and work of the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung, go to: http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/jung.htm

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Monday, July 8, 2013

1-heart-on-fire[1]Psalm 90:12

Wisdom of Heart

Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. 

Why do we seek wisdom?  Is it so that we might better control ourselves and others in order to number our days?  Is it so that we might keep ourselves safe from all disaster and above all turmoil?  Do we seek wisdom in order to better rely on ourselves and less on God?

God says: There really is nothing to fear.  When life is going well for you  and you want it to go on forever it is I who endow you with gifts.  When crises loom and your life feels over-long, I buoy you up and lift you above the fray.  I do not leave you to survive on your own although I know that this is how you feel.  Trust in me.  Believe in me.  Live in me.  I want to be with you always.  And I want to share with you the eternal wisdom of my heart.   

We want to be self-controlling and self-fulfilling.  We believe that we carry the weight of the world.  We spend our years searching for panacea and surety.  Yet God alone saves.  God alone is enough.

Enter the word Wisdom into the blog search bar and explore how God brings us Wisdom of Heart. 

To read different translations of this verse, click on the citation above or go to: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2090:12&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

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