Walking Away from God and His People? Please read….
Devotional Thought of the Day:
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. Matthew 28:17 (TEV)
343 That passage of the Second Epistle to Timothy makes me shudder, when the Apostle laments that Demas has deserted him for love of this life and gone to Thessalonica. For a trifle, and for fear of persecution, this man, whom Saint Paul had quoted in other epistles as being among the saints, had betrayed the divine enterprise. I shudder when I realise how little I am: and it leads me to demand from myself faithfulness to the Lord even in events that might seem to be indifferent—for if they do not help me to be more united to Him, I do not want them! (1)
I have some friends who I am thinking of, even as I write this blogpost. If you are reading this, you probably are not them…. but it might apply anyway.
They are facing challenges in life, hard challenges, painful challenges. Enough so that while praying that they would see God revealed in their life, considering what they’ve gone through brings tears to my eyes. I can’t know the pain as deeply of course, ,but the pain is visible and tangible.
And the temptation is to walk away from the one place where their hearts can be lifted, where they can find peace.
How do I know this? Been there, been tempted to walk away once or twice…heck who am I kidding. It’s a lot more than that, and I have. As the prodigal found out, it isn’t better there. Not even close. the scars get bigger, the healing doesn’t come, the loneliness seems to grow and dominate, as does the despair.
St. Josemaria gets the point, the more I walk away, the littler I become. The answer isn’t running away, trying to slide away unnoticed, as if the pain will simply dissipate….
I’ve found the answer is to embrace God even more strongly, to bug him like the old lady bugged the judge, to yell at Him like Jeremiah does in chapter 20 of his book, to try and wrestle with him as Jacob/Israel did. To trust Him so much that I can doubt what’s going on, and I can express my doubt that He is present. That kind of doubt takes faith, faith that He won’t turn us away if we are blunt and honest. Trust that will work out in our lives, as that trust in His presence, His love and care allows us to dump all the crap in our lives onto the cross – where it will die with all sin and shame.
Don’t run away, don’t walk… come back, join us who struggle with our faithfulness – and trust in His. Let us encourage each other, for these last days… we need that encouragement, that reminder of God’s presence..
For that is having great faith.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1595-1600). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.