Saturday, August 21, 2010

Praying Through the Challenges -- Big & Small

There are situations in life that just don't make a whole lot of sense. They leave you scratching your head and wondering why. Our reaction to what happens in our life is proportionate to the level of importance we place on the circumstances that surround the problem. Those without hope could easily fall into despair if a situation becomes stressful.

These difficult situations often help put life into perspective. I have been agonizing over an issue in my life for almost the entire summer. I have let it consume too many hours of my time. I have prayed about it, worried about it, talked about it, but no answer seems right. Resolution just wasn't coming. Why wouldn't God show me what to do?

And, just when I am about to give up on finding an answer, I get an email from a friend that went something like this:
Please pray for me and my family. Our baby has a genetic disorder that will make life outside the womb impossible. It has been determined that she won't live for very long after delivery. We know that God holds us in His hands and guides our steps, but we ask for your prayers to sustain us in this hope. We trust that He will bring good from all that happens through our little girl. Please join us in praying for peace and strength as we know that all prayers are heard and are important to God. (paraphrased from a much longer note)
There is a much bigger why with no obvious resolution other than a physical miracle in my friend's case. However, this note doesn't serve to diminish the problem that I am wrestling with; it gives witness to the fact that all problems, big and small, are to be entrusted to the Lord. It is in the big problems that we tend to be more open with our need to trust and surrender to God all of our worries -- to reach out and express our cares to others and seek out their help. In her request, my friend is bringing me to God, and reminding me that no problem is too big or too small for Our Lord and Savior.

My issue is not a matter of life and death; it differs in gravity from that of my friend's. But, the Lord reminds us to pray without ceasing and to trust in the Father to hear our prayers and answer them. It doesn't matter what we are struggling with, He wants us to bring it to the foot of the Cross and let Him help.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:6-7)
In my friend's email I heard the call from heaven to pray for her baby and for all of our needs. In response, I ask for your prayers for my friend's little baby in the womb and for her entire family. And, humbly, at the same time, I ask you to hold my situation in prayer, as well. The Lord gives us what we need, when we need it, and never more than we can handle. And, asking why is natural. It is all designed to make us holy if we respond to the grace He showers upon us through His Most Blessed Mother. This is what He asks us to do -- seek [Him] and you shall find [Him]. (Cf. Mt 7:7) Great hope is found in these words, and they are paramount to finding peace in all situations.


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