Friday, January 18, 2008

A Light shines in the darkness

I recently read a book by a well-known Catholic author and I was surprised at how much this writer seemed to struggle with what he could do to make himself accept God's grace, which highlighted his larger struggle of whether or not such grace is for him. He repeatedly discussed how far away he felt from God and how God wants to grace the world.

The thing is, what God wants to do, God does. God does not watch us from afar, waiting for us to say the magic words to merit forgiveness, grace or the gift of greater faith. God gives us these things because of who God is.

It is important not to confuse the mysterious side of God with the idea that God is distant. God does have a side we do not understand. Think of the seven thunders in Revelation 10:3b-4. The author is told not to write about them and this reminds us that we do not know everything about the mind of God.

However, we do know about the promises of God. In Jesus' words at the end of Matthew, he promises to be with the disciples even to the end of the earth. God who has been revealed as the Alpha and the Omega, the A and the Z, is also everything in between. God has promised to be with us, throughout all of our lives. Though we may not always be able to sense or comprehend our presence, God doesn't leave us.

There used to be an old saying, "If you don't feel God, He isn't the one who moved." God does move, though, through us, in us and for us. God is with us in the pigpen, when we search for the lost coin, when we are thirsty at the well, when we are at the bedside of a loved one, when we are in our dark night of the soul.

God's ways are not our ways and God remains a mystery, which is why God supplies our faith. But for proximity, God, who has promised to do so, remains with us always and is never further away than the hairs on our heads.

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