Keith was in trouble and it made him feel sick to his stomach. He thought to himself, “Am I being tested?” Then he thought, “Is God punishing me for something from the past?” The thing that filled him with fear was that Keith was being blamed for the mismanagement of funds at his firm. And so, he thought that maybe God was using this to punish him for the fact that he hadn’t done much for his mother in her last days. That was something that he had always felt guilty about. Had God finally caught up with him, making him pay the price for his sin of neglect regarding his mother? Keith felt that there wasn’t too much he could do to rectify the situation at work even though he knew that he wasn’t the one responsible for the problem. But he couldn’t think of a solution either.
Keith went to church that weekend as he did every weekend, received the Eucharist, and prayed. He asked the Lord for help, not just about the work situation, but because of his sense of guilt about his past mistakes. In his prayer Keith didn’t tell Jesus how to solve his problems. He placed all his hope in God and God’s love for him. Keith completely counted on that!
I think it’s important to keep this in mind—-no matter what state of life you find yourself in: life will present you with problems. That’s just the way it is in this world. A life free of problems is for the next life. So, with this in mind, I share with you something that many people think is not realistic—perhaps a bit naive, but something I know from experience to be true: The God that gave you the gift of faith is right there beside you, and if you trust Him, all will be well. Don’t take matters into your own hands or allow yourself to be terrorized by your fears of the past or the future.
So, don’t tell God how to solve your problems. Let Him have his own time to deal with it. Put the problem and yourself in his hands and then live one day at a time. You have to learn to trust in God. Someday things will work out, and it will always be in a way that you do not expect. God can bring good out of evil, so hold on and remember that you were given the gift of faith—so make use of that gift!
It took over a year for Keith’s problems to be worked out. There were ups and downs along the way, yet he thought the experience made his faith grew stronger. After a year-long investigation the thief was discovered, and it was one of the other employees who was stealing. And the dark cloud that had been over Keith immediately disappeared, and with it his fear that God was hunting him down to punish him for his past mistakes.
The Apostles learned that before they set out on a course of action they needed to pray and then listen and follow. We are encouraged to learn this too! “Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.”