Trust God to Relieve Your Worries

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by fatherjimb on August 2, 2009

There were two items that appeared in The Washington Post this week that resonate with what we hear today in the readings. The first was a story about a small group of Franciscan novices who, as part of their preparation for final vows, walked from Roanoke to the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Land in DC. In the spirit of St Francis they only took with them their habits, one change of underwear, a woolen blanket, a bottle of water and the shoes on their feet. Left behind were money, food and the simple comforts we take for granted. The only concession they made was that if people offered money they would use it to buy power bars for that day, the rest they would give to the poor.

Their journey through the roads of Virginia was a real testament to the Gospel message today since the first thing they needed to do was place their trust in God to provide what they needed along the way.   On their first night on the road, a local fire department allowed them to use the trampoline behind the station as a bed (not a good idea as they soon found out).   Outside of Harrisonburg they met were a 40 year old woman and her daughter who had been tossed out of their home when she discovered her husband cheating on her.   Speaking with the friars her daughter searched in the car and found a candy bar she gave to them, a little later she wound a can of soda she also gave to them.  Finally, as their discussion wound down the mother reached into her purse and gave them $3.52, all the money she had and placed her trust in God to provide what she and her daughter need.

On their journey a handful of people jeered them as weirdos or costumed characters from a Star Wars movie. Most, however, found the message of the Gospel exemplified in how they joyfully traveled and spoke gently to all they met.

The other item that appeared in the Post was the obituary for the Rev Ike, who preached the “gospel” of prosperity. One of his most famous lines was that the best way to help the poor was not to be one of them. Don’t wait for the pie-in-the sky reward others preach, reach for the gold now. He and a number of store front ministers have made a financial windfall on taking from the poor and giving to themselves to become rich.

In the first story we have the tale of those who put their trust in God and find satisfaction in their daily lives. The individuals the friars encountered along the way were hungry and they went away satisfied because they saw what trust was all about.

We in America are hungry for something we can’t describe. We amass things thinking this will satisfy our needs and come away empty. God constantly looks after our needs providing us with what we need, not necessarily what we want. We Americans, like the wandering Israelites in the desert, do nothing but complain. The seeming success of the “Cash for Clunkers” program surprised many, yet when the dealers were interviewed they could only complain that the government had not sent them the cash and buyers wanted to know why they couldn’t get more. In our own lives we worry that our homes have lost their value and forget that we even have homes. We worry that our IRAs do not have the money we think we’ll need for retirement and forget that we will even have the opportunity to even stop working.

There is a story about Mother Teresa who heard about a Christian family who had nothing to eat for several days. Moved with pity she came to their home with enough rice for one meal. Upon receiving this gift the mother of the household divided it into two bowls, taking the one bowl to her neighbor, a Muslim woman. Mother Teresa questioned her as to why she would do this if this was barely enough for them. The woman’s response was simply, “They have not eaten for as many days as we and are hungry too.”

Perhaps we need a daily reminder of this so I’d like to suggest that rather than using the formulaic “Bless us O Lord” form of grace that we instead ask the Lord to help us feed the poor and to satisfy our hearts for as St Augustine said “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until we find our rest in you.” God will provide what we need.