Friday, March 22
I have often been frustrated by people who tell you that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. I look with mystery at people in the “prosperity movement.” This thinking denies the magnificence of what makes faith so important. If you accept pain, loss and disappointment as elements of living a full life, it is by digging deeper in your faith that you discover that it is God’s grace that helps you manage the challenges of life. Simply living a “pure” life does not give you the strength to handle the losses that occur with painful regularity in life. If you never experience the loss of a loved one, how can you appreciate the glory of a newborn baby or survival after disease?
People of faith cannot expect that as long as they obey the rules there will be no setbacks, no crime, no injury, no disappointment. When life invariably happens, this implies that either they lacked faith or that something else was determined to set them off the course to God’s will. I know that if I had lived this way I would have my faith strained every day. I have not led a simple or an entirely righteous life. Sometimes I think I tell myself that God has a sense of humor but I am certainly more a “person of faith” by the setbacks in my life. I take responsibility for my failures and ask God for the strength to handle the next problem with grace, and live in a manner that only reflects God’s presence.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are sometimes clumsy, careless people stumbling through the world. Let us strive to lead a better life knowing that you are by our side. We are not always worthy but we desire to be your disciples. Let us strive to be forgiving of ourselves and others. Let us manage pain and disappointment knowing that it is part of Christian growth and allows us to serve others who suffer as well. Amen.