As I sit here typing this, I'm reflecting on how wonderful our God is. He can turn any potentially bad situation into something that, if we co-operate, will glorify Him and bring so many blessings to us.
I started off my day yesterday giving Him praise and worship. I went to Mass and spent an hour in the chapel with Him, just absorbing His Grace and meditating. When I left there, I had all the good intentions to make my day a worthy offering to the Lord, I had promised to do all and accept all for love of Him. I had asked Him to give me zeal for my work and to let my caring for my family be as though it were Himself I was caring for.
First I had a long stop at the bank. While waiting, I was running through the long list of things I had to do (I'm still playing catch up, remember?) and feeling a little impatient. As I got home the phone rang and I spent 15 minutes on a phone call with my mother in law. As I hung up, my husband called and said he had to come home to pick up a document for a bank transaction . I decided, reluctantly, to meet him at the bank to save him the trip home in the traffic because my conscience wouldn't be quiet about it. I had just changed into my "working at home" clothes and I was feeling a bit disgruntled that I had to, once again, abandon my chores.
Oh, but Jesus is so sweet and loving! As I was driving, grumbling to myself about all the time I was wasting and what I wouldn't be able to do today, He gently whispered. "Didn't you just offer me your service to your family? Didn't you just give to me your day as a sacrifice? You are not in control.. I am! Are your chores more important than the people I have put into your life to care for and love?" Oh what a gentle tap on the wrist! How beautifully He touches my heart and elicits a response "Yes Lord! How could I forget.. we just had this lesson last week. Being there for my family when they need me is more important than the chores."
It turned out that God probably ordained that I should give up the day's chores as I did. My husband had had some discouraging news about our finances and needed to have my support. We also had an impromptu lunch with my mother and sister who we met at the mall where our bank is located. It turned out to be a huge blessing, as we commiserated with each other and were able to offer each other support in each others' trials.
I was able to share the meditation I had done on the Book of Job that morning. It ties in so perfectly with what I read recently in my Book of James bible study. Monday's verse was:
James1:12 "Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him" New Jerusalem Bible.
My husband, when learning about the new trial that faced us, thought "Lord, what next? What else is going to happen to us? We've been struggling along for a while now, this seems like too much to bear." I praise God! He obviously had a plan when He gave me that reading in the Book of Job today. I shared with my husband that Job was considered by God to be incomparable among men for his honesty and God-fearing ways, yet when adversity became unbearable, he turned against God. He became bitter, angry, filled with self-pity and even remonstrated with God. (I know I've done the same at times!) God did not restore to him his health or finances until he acknowledged that he was wrong and gave to God his complete worship and faith again. Then God gave to him even more than he had had before!
What James 1:12 is saying to me is that, if Job had continued to be steadfast in his faith and trust in God, to persevere, even through all his adversity, God would have granted him restoration much sooner. We, too, are called to do the same. This topic has so much to expound on, I could write a post that you'd be reading all week long on it! My meditation on the book of Job was so deep that I'll definitely have to come back to this another time.
For now, I want to give you a little testimony. I witnessed to my husband yesterday and gave him some comfort, support and encouragement through God's word. After this, he felt stronger, his faith was renewed and he felt a zeal to persevere. (I cant count the number of times he's done the same for me in my weak moments) A few hours later, he received a phone call with some really good news for us concerning one of our daughters. I felt like shouting to the rooftops "See how great our God is.. true to His promises, faithful to His people!"
Oh how truly blessed I feel! That little voice of my conscience was the Holy Spirit Himself, guiding me. I could have said no to the prompting and then, perhaps, God's work would have been put on hold. Instead, I was able to be a vessel that He used to be a blessing to others and I was blessed too in the process. By saying yes to God, in whatever He asks us to do, we can benefit from all the Graces and blessings He has to pour out on us.
Let us pray that we will be people of steadfast faith, who persevere through our trials, trusting in Him to do what is best for us, in the full knowledge that we are loved and never abandoned by Him. (except by our own sinfulness, but that's another topic)
May His Grace and Blessings be upon you always!
P.S. When I started telling my daughter the story of how my day started, she interrupted and exclaimed "You had a wonderful day!" I asked her how she could say that when I'd only related to her so far up to where I had to abandon my chores and met her father, grandmother and aunt at the mall. Her reply was "You got to see most of our family today AND you got to have lunch with them too!" Very often, our youth are wiser than we give them credit for... she didn't see the vision I was looking at before God spoke to my heart, of undone chores to complete and the hassle, she was looking at the "people principle", exactly what God wanted me to see as well! I pray that I can 'see' with that kind of heart more often in the future and save myself some taps on the wrist by our Lord ;-)
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