I had an interesting conversation with my daughter today. Now this being the 21st century it wasn’t a face to face conversation but rather a finger to finger conversation.
She and her husband have a rather big life decision to make and she asked for my advice. Without going into the details I told her what I thought and ended with telling her she should talk to God about it and He would help her. Of course, I got exactly the answer I expected, something like “Is he going to put money in our pockets?”
I countered with “You just might be surprised.” So once again this got me to thinking. I know what God, and trusting in Him, has done for me. I know how my life has been turned around since I placed it in His hands. But how do you explain that to someone else? Especially one who is skeptical in the first place? Yes, I’m the one to blame for that and I own that. How can you make another see?
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desire. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and be nourished in safety. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:3–4, RSV2CE)
I suppose I could remind people of how my wife and I lived in a house that was falling down around us, killing us with mold. I could explain how we were behind on every bill and how we owed friends and family a lot of money. I could recall how I wasn’t working and we barely had enough money to buy food, never mind anything else. I could talk about how I was in a downward spiral of self-pity, despair, and depression and how I felt I couldn’t stop the slide. I could then point to where we are now, how we climbed out of that bad place, paid our debts, released ourselves from the burdens we had, and are now filled with happiness and the grace of God. All because I decided to put my trust in God. (Or she could just have read the little book I wrote)
Would they believe me? I don’t know. What I do know is it happened. Our lives turned around and it was because I did put my life in God’s hands. I knew with His help, I could get through this and all would be good. I knew that whatever happened was because it was His will.
Trusting in God doesn’t mean throwing up your hands and saying “Okay God, put some money in my bank account”. You still need to work at it. It all starts with prayer. It was when I began to thank God every day for what I did have, not much, but what I had some core things, a spouse who loves me and supports me, a loving family, and a roof (although one with leaks) over my head. How many people don’t have even that much? After thanking Him, I asked God, not what He could do for me, but what He needed me to do for Him.
He led me to a job, it was only a part-time one, but it was a start. He showed me He had given me some talents and skills that I could use to turn that job into a full time one. He showed me how by being patient, not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, but just living one day at a time, I could pay off my debts, rebuild my credit and be able to move. He showed me I needed to take care of myself first and not worry about what others thought about my decisions, even those that may have been less than popular with some of my family. And He showed me that doing these things, my life would indeed change. My life would and has gotten better. And the most important thing is I have filled an emptiness I always had inside of me.
I hope others can see this within me. Right now I am once again going through some tough times, nowhere like in the past but I am struggling with some things. Once again I look towards God for guidance and I know He will help me.
Addendum: I began this post yesterday morning and as always, I let it sit so I could edit it before publishing. And, as usual, God decided to add something to it, an example of how He works in my life.
I have been falling into a bit of depression lately. My idea of self-employment hasn’t been panning out like I hoped. And like four or so years ago this leads me into a downward spiral. When I get into these spirals, I stop doing the spiritual things I should be doing, like prayer, talking to God, reading scripture, etc. So Monday night I knew it was time to get back into doing all these things. I prayed the Rosary, listened to some podcasted homilies, and talked to God. Tuesday morning I did my daily readings including the Office of Readings. And I began writing this blog post.
Later Tuesday morning I received a phone call informing me I landed a new job. Coincidence? I don’t think so.