13th April

Today’s gospel is a continuation of the Bread of Life discourse. Again the emphasis is on Our Fatherbelieving in Jesus: “Yes, it is my Father’s will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and that I shall raise him up on the last day.”

The following meditation from Premier Media Trust is about believing and trusting in God, even when it is challenging.

Much of my friendship with God has been built upon my desire to avoid pain and difficulty. Nothing wrong with this, it’s human and sensible. There is in our relationship with God this constant cry for deliverance from our enemies, be they sickness, economic woes, or broken relationships. Sadly this understandable desire can become transactional in nature, and if I feel God has failed in his side of the bargain, I punish God by ditching him.

Some weeks ago Mum announced she wanted to explore getting hearing aids, at the suggestion of a neighbour. Now we had only recently moved and given away a very expensive pair of hearing aids mum had purchased some eight years previously. She soon stopped wearing them, we thought, because her friends at the lunch club she attended and a very dear neighbour told her hearing aids were useless. Mum was adamant she wasn’t going to ever use them again no matter how we tried to convince her.

I challenged her and after we had a ‘hearty’ exchange of opinions, mum disclosed that due to her arthritis, which had only grown more severe, she found placing them in her ears and working the minute controls impossibility. With fresh information we agreed to explore finding something that might both provide her with enhanced hearing without compromising her arthritic arms.

I realised my assumptions about Mum were wrong and therefore the frustration I expressed was misplaced. She too, I hope, came to accept the limitations age placed upon her and we identified a road we might accompany each other along with grace.

When we start to shout at God for failing to deliver us, it might have more to do with God’s overall plan than we choose to see. It may have less to do with him failing us than making us women and men whose witness lights up our immediate world and provides us with fresh insight into our own frailty. This is all part of maturing.

QUESTION: Are there situations you grieve over where you believe God’s failed you? Have you withdrawn from God?

PRAYER: Patient Father, forgive me for those times I have believed you have failed me. Open my eyes to see your hand at work in my life.