Monday, October 4, 2010

Blame and Complain

Where is God when we are blaming and complaining, when we are in pain or suffering and something isn’t going our way?

This week’s readings are about God’s presence in our lives especially when we are suffering. ”How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live”. Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4

We are reminded in this reading, and in Paul’s letter to Timothy that we must have faith, patience and humility in our lives. That God is not here to disappoint us, that He has a vision and that we must WAIT and pray in faith regardless of the sufferings placed in our path.

“Beloved: I remind you, to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.
Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.” 2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14

Not every day can be as “perfect” as the beautiful fall day that today is going to be; not every day is a day in Heaven. All around us, we or someone we know, is suffering. There is a complaint, a blame, a test of our patience, an ache, a pain, or a tragedy.

Yet, if we look around, if we seek God, if we choose to accept our sufferings as Christ did, there will be a glimpse of heaven even in those moments of tragedy and suffering, even in our sorrows. We will receive a hug from a spouse, a child, grandchild or friend. There will be a kind word from someone you didn’t even know cared. There will be a “flower” blooming in the desert, a sparkle in the death of a fall frost, or a star to light the sky.

Earth is a “test, “a preparation,” for what is to come. We are here to act as Christ did in His sufferings, in His service, to Love in Good Times and In Bad. We are to accept our sufferings, and from them learn patience, faith and humility. If God didn’t “let us suffer” we would have no reason to seek Him in prayer.

And, most of us have the tendency to pray more when we are suffering. God wants to know that “we trust” Him, “know” Him, “love” Him; that our faith rests in Him.

How many times do we forgetten to thank Him for the very small treasures of our life? Have we thanked Him for the roof over our head, the food on our table, the “I love you” from our spouse, a child’s hand, a friends smile or time to spend with our family?

Our sufferings are also a reminder that we are not in control, but that God is in control. It is our faith, hope and love which will bring us to prayer in both good times and in bad: to look for Christ in our life regardless of what “suffering,” what unkind word, what injustice, may have happened in our day.

Dear God: Praise the glimpses where I can “see” you. Forgive me for the times I have blamed my spouse, my friends, my neighbors for my suffering, especially those caused my own deeds, actions or inactions. Help me to make decisions guided by faith and the wisdom of the Spirit. Guide my actions and my words in my family, with my friends and in voting for our countries leaders. Help me not to place blame, especially where I could be the solution. Help me not to complain but to be patient and listen to you in prayer. Amen.

As Christians we never take “enough” time for prayer. Suffering is a part of our lives, so that we will stop and “look” harder for God. Let's give God credit for having a plan that will be fulfilled in HIS time, and that will not disappoint. God is still in control of our destiny!
In faith,

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