In today's 1st reading in the book of Wisdom, we see Job being tested in his faith and love for God. Job attributed all that he had, even his clothes, to God and takes all these as God's blessings and gifts. Although relatively successful with a decently comfortable life, he did not give credits for his achievements to himself nor the successes to his power. Instead, he attributed everything to the mercy, graciousness and generosity of God. It was undoubtedly an act of faith and of humility. Whatever Job once had, he did not grow overly attached to them that he was not willing to let them go and surrender them to God.
If we were able to adopt this attitude of Job, how much less miserable we would be! Money, health, reputation, image, love ones, friends, job, intelligence, voice, faculty of speech, memory, relationships of all sorts and even the Holy Spirit and spiritual consolation are all God's gifts to us. These gifts are His alone, only on loan to us in our lives to aid us in fulfilling what He set us out to fulfil. Since these gifts belong to Him, then He has the right to take them back when He thinks it is time to. And while feeling upset if any of these are recalled back to Him, it is an invitation for us to let it go humbly and with sheer gratitude that we were once given those gifts so that we may come to know God's infinite and merciful love manifested in His blessings and gifts to us. We pray that if God wills it, that those gifts He will once again gift to us in His time.
Who are we to decide for God the time He has to give us His gifts? We may have experienced friends and family asking us what we want for our upcoming birthdays. Thinking through the many desires in our hearts, we may even give them a list of things they can buy for our birthdays. We may get a few things from our wish list but that may not even happen since the final decision of what present to get still lies in the giver. At the party, can I, like an ignorant child, go around to my guests and ask them one by one what they had gotten for me or tell them that they could give me my presents already? Can we ask God to give us His gifts in the time we want? Certainly, it is not within our authority to do so. Hence, that leaves us with our approach to awaiting God's gifts - prayer, trust, patience and simply, wait. We have to patiently wait for His gifts and not be desperate or anxious when we have asked for our "gifts" but have not received them.
Trust in God's plan, always be open and ready to accept whatever His plan presents to us, go with His plan like water flowing around rocks in a cascading river. Why should anything affect us so much that our emotions overwhelm our entire beings? If all is in God's mighty and loving hands, trust that He sees us, the dangers before us and knows our every need. He will provide every grace we need to overcome any and every obstacle and turmoil. He is not anxious like we are. He can calm an angry sea!! Peace originates from Him. If we trust in God, God will give us the peace of knowing we are very well taken care of, in good and mighty hands.
Is there a pair of hands that is mightier?
Is there a pair of hands more loving?
Is there a power more powerful?
Is there an intelligence more superior?
If this pair of hands of our God is not the hands we entrust our entire selves and lives to, who then can we rely on and entrust ourselves to? Who can be more reliable?
The story of Job may just be fiction. However, the message taught to us is real and concrete - to follow Job in responding to God's call to always trust in Him and to always be grateful for what He has gifted us with, things that are so often taken for granted. We are called to deny the possession of our "possessions", attributing all to God, giving unto Him all that is His. Having heard or read this reading, what do we do in order for God's message in this bible passage to take root in our hearts?
27 September 2010