Sometimes it is most difficult to understand the curves that life throws at us. Cancer finds it's way into a loved one. A spouse is unfaithful. Debts mount up and seem as if they will never get paid. It seems as if we are swimming upstream and nothing we can do will ever get us to where we need to be. We have lost all sense of control and despite how hard we try there is nothing we can do to get it back.
What we need to do in these times of struggle is to stop worrying about not being in control and allow God to have all control over our lives. That is most definately easier said than done. We have to maintain hope and allow God to guide us. We know that God loves us and only wants us to spend eternity in Heaven with us. I have found that when I feel like I have the weight of the world bearing down on me I have to step aside and say two little prayers.
The first is, "Jesus, I trust in You." This in itself takes so much weight away from us. We know that Jesus is there for us and won't let us fall if only we trust in Him. If we trust our friends or co-workers to catch us while doing those "trust fall" experiments in those silly team building exercises, how much more should we trust Jesus to catch us in our spirtual life?
The second prayer is, "Lord--not my will, but let Your will be done." We have to let God guide us in everything we do. Every life decision we make we should ask the Lord to guide us--from moving to job changes to relationships. Ask God to guide you.
I wish I could say that life will be just peachy if you trust in God and try to follow His will. Unfortunately, no where in scripture does it say that life will be easy. Quite the contrary it says that whoever shall follow Him will find the same hardships that Jesus did but that we must pick up our cross daily. We are going to have struggles in our life. We are going to face suffering. If the Son of God suffered on the cross who are we to thing that we won't have our own sufferings.
It is most important to follow God though. God led the Israelites through the desert. Imagine how often in those forty years they wanted to find their own way. How many times did they ponder why they left the easy life as slaves in Egypt to follow God into the desert.
God will lead us into the promised land. Our life on Earth may have hardships and suffering but God promises that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. We may struggle but when we follow God we will end up with Him in eternal glory.
When we are suffering it is important to keep our eyes on that cross. When we look upon the cross (doing my best Fr. Corapi imitation) we shouldn't see a negative---we should see a plus sign, brother. Without Good Friday we would never have Easter Sunday.
Zōjō-ji [temple] in Shiba
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