Monday, April 16, 2012

The Doubting Thomas in Me

Women of Faith:
There are some Monday’s when I don’t have a clue what is going to be in this meditation until after half of it is written—there are other Monday’s, like today, when I have had this “thought” all week long – one that just won’t go away—one that just keeps getting brought up in prayers, emails, music, conversations—not just once or twice, but over and over again.

I can’t wait for someone else to do something RIGHT, I have to do RIGHT, by and for God, by myself—NOW!!

It doesn’t matter what everyone else around me does, it only matters what “I” do, when “I” chose to do it and that “I” choose do it for God.

“For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” 1 Jn 5: 1-6

The story of “doubting Thomas” Jn 20: 19-31, was fittingly read yesterday at a Confirmation Mass. The teenagers were challenged to ask themselves if they would believe without seeing, if they would continue to act in faith, and if their faith would continue to be the same faith as it was yesterday, today and tomorrow, when life doesn’t go their way.

Am I a doubting Thomas?

Or do I have the faith to be patient with God’s plan and that His plan for me will benefit all who believe?

Do I believe the lie that it is greener on the other side and that I deserve a more loving spouse, a better marriage, a more supportive family or friend? Or do I keep my marriage vows, the covenant of love, I promised in faith and hold true to God’s commandments always –by acting for God, thru God, and in God—all the time, not just when it’s convenient for me?

Do I hold true to God by unselfishly serving and forgiving my spouse or a
friend knowing that they may hurt me again?

Do I hold true to God by choosing His commandments over the lies of media and the lies of my peers because “everyone else is doing it?“

Do I have enough faith to accept sufferings not as a punishment, but rather as a way for God to draw me closer to Him so that I will depend on Him more?

Have I and will I waver in my faith? Of course I will. I am human, I am not perfect. I have sinned and I will sin again. That is why we are given His promise and hope in the resurrection of Christ.

So, should I be upset with God because I am suffering? No! Does praying for the things I worry about help? Yes! Can I worry about something I have prayed about? No! If so, therein lies the doubting Thomas in me.

Is it important that someone else has sinned towards me? No! Can any good come out of holding a grudge or being unforgiving? No! Do I doubt that He will forgive anyone who asks for Him in their life?

Is it important that God has not yet answered my most fervent prayer or that someone hasn’t said thank you for what I did for them? No! If I don’t trust that God hears my prayers, once again, I am a doubting Thomas.

What is important is that “I” follow God’s commandments; that “I” am an example to others; that “I” act in faith; that “I” trust God and that “I” don’t blame anyone else for my attitude or choices.

If I blame God or someone else for my problems, mistakes or challenges, it means that I expect someone to be more perfect than God. And God gives me the free will to choose to do something that is not right. Yes, even Thomas doubted.

If I choose to believe in the lies of society—that it is important how I look to someone else, what I achieve in my job, how much money I make, or one life over another; then I have chosen a priority other than God, I have chosen to believe someone other than God. I have chosen to doubt God.

We have what Thomas didn’t have-- an instruction book and a history of God’s guidance. Thomas didn’t have that benefit. We have been taught by God how to love in our marriages by submitting and denying one’s self (Eph 5); we have been taught how to forgive each other, seven times seventy times (Mt 18:22); and we have been taught who and how to serve (works of Mercy) Mt 25: 35-39.

John Waller’s two songs “While I’m waiting” and “Blessings” speak of trusting and making choices for God while we wait for answer to our prayers: “I’m waiting on You, Lord. And I am hopeful.… though it is painful.. patiently, I will move ahead. Bold and confident, taking every step in obedience. While I’m waiting I will serve you…. I will worship.” While I’m Waiting by John Waller

“This day, every blessing and curse, is a choice now. And we will choose to be a blessing for life….For your kingdom, for our children, for the sake of every nation.” Blessing by John Waller

Heavenly Father, You are my hope and salvation. Help me to choose Your blessings instead of the lies of this world. Forgive me for the times I have doubted You and grumbled about the crosses I carry. Help me to choose You with hope and confidence all the time. May I have the patience to wait for your answer. Thank you for St. Thomas as an example and witness to me even when I doubt your presence. Amen.

Don’t doubt God this week! Put your hope and trust in His mercy, in His forgiveness and in His love as He helps you carry Your cross,

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