IN all our affairs and situations in life, we should always go to God to ask for his help and guidance, and to trust his ways and his providence, even if the outcome of our prayers and petitions appears unanswered, if not, contradicted.
This should be the attitude to have. Itâ€™s an attitude that can only indicate our unconditional faith and love for God who is always in control of things, and at the same time can also leave us in peace and joy even at the worst of the possibilities.
Remember the Book of Ecclesiastes where it says that for everything there is a season, â€œa time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to healâ€¦â€ But everything is under Godâ€™s control, and even if we are capable of eternity, we just the same â€œcannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.â€ (3,1ff) We just have to trust him.
We have to follow the example of the many characters in the gospel who, feeling helpless in the many predicaments they were in, earnestly rushed to Christ for some succor. They went to him unafraid and unashamed and they got what they wanted.
It may happen that we may not get what we want. And in this, we should not be too surprised or too worried. What is sure is that God always listens and gives us what is best for us.
If our request is granted, itâ€™s because it is good for us.Â We should however be careful that the favor should not spoil us but should rather make us more thankful and faithful to him.
If our request is not granted, it could be because what we asked is actually not good for us. Examples of this kind of cases are aplenty, and many would later on realize how lucky they were that what they asked for was not granted.
Or it could be because the manner of our request is stained by some motives that are not good and that can spoil or corrupt us, or that can lead us to worse predicaments. In other words, our intentions may not be pure. Some ulterior motives pervert our requests. We should therefore correct that defect.
Another possibility is that God is actually trying to show us another way to deal with a situation. He may be asking us to pray more, if only to strengthen our faith that is always needed in this kind of situations. In this, we have to learn to be open to these possibilities and to be sharply and promptly perceptive of Godâ€™s designs. Thus we just have to be game in the mysterious ways of God.
But we should not forget that God will always listen to us and will act on our requests promptly and in the best way for us, considering both our immediate and the ultimate needs, and no matter how imperfect the object, motives and manner of our petitions are.
Remember the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge narrated in the gospel of St. Luke, chapter 8. The conclusion of that parable is the following lesson we should learn at heart: â€œWill not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off.?â€ (7)
This lesson is reiterated in the gospel of St. Matthew where Christ said: â€œWhat man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is heaven give good things to those who ask him!â€ (7,9-11)
These words are not meant to make us passive and simply reactionary to the different events of our life. They simply mean that we have to trust Godâ€™s providence completely even as we use all our faculties to know and follow Godâ€™s will and ways.
We cannot go far if we rely simply on our own powers and have no trust in Godâ€™s providence. Sad to say, this is what we are seeing aplenty these days. People who choose to be on their own cannot avoid falling into disappointments, sadness and depression.
We have to learn to trust God regardless of how things are. We may commit mistakes, but then if we are with God, everything will always work out for the good. (By Fr. Roy Cimagala)