How many times have you been through something in your life that makes no sense to you? You don’t know why it’s happening. It causes you pain and stress, and you might not even see an end in sight. It could be happening to you or to someone you love—-a son, a daughter or a friend. It could even be something that’s happening in the world around you—even though it’s not touching you directly, the thought that terrible things are happening in the world or in our country is just unnerving and we don’t feel safe.
What’s our response? Is it anger or bitterness? Do we try to control what’s happening, or manipulate? If we remember to turn to prayer, what is it we’re praying for? Do we even trust God or believe that he will do anything at all, or are we just relying on our own resources?
Now fast -forward a bit. Once you have come to the other side of a tough experience and look back, do you have a better understanding of what happened, or why it happened? Do you see more clearly how God brought you through the experience and helped you?
The reason for all of these questions comes from what St. Paul wrote in the second reading: “For the foolishness of God is stronger than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Another way of looking at this: Nothing is impossible for God.
Consider these words from Father Jacques Philippe about abandonment.
We must put everything, without exception, into the hands of God, not seeking any longer to manage or “to save” ourselves by our own means. We can’t divide human existence into different sectors: certain ones where it would be legitimate to surrender ourselves to God with confidence and others where we feel we must manage things on our own. One thing we know well: all reality that we have not surrendered to God, that we choose to manage by ourselves without giving carte blanche to God, will continue to make us more uneasy.
So many times in the New Testament, the Apostles have no clue what Jesus is doing. And we see Jesus’ frustration at their lack of faith and inability to connect the dots. It wasn’t till they were on their own and thrown into their own difficult situations that the things Christ did for them began to make sense. Only then were they able to abandon themselves to the will of God and even come to the point where they were willing to die for their faith.
Lent is a good time to try some “abandoning.” And in doing this we can spend less time worrying, and ask God to help us direct our energies in a more positive way. What we gain in the end will endure beyond any difficult situation we may find ourselves in. Eventually the Apostles got it, and we will too if we give God a chance and allow Christ to bring us to the Father.