These words from Sirach, a book of wisdom, caution us not to search beyond our capabilities. There are no answers to ‘why’ and looking for one, only depletes us. We pray and try our best to trust and yet recognize some problems are not alleviated and we don’t understand why. Perhaps you or your loved one has said – “When I get to heaven, I want to know…” I think it is our human condition to question and look for any type of certainty.
Do you think you can run your world better? I identify with this, as often I tried to play God, but eventually gave up because it became frustrating and wasn’t very effective. Prayer revealed that God views the entire picture. When I struggle with difficult circumstances or painful feelings, an awareness of God’s presence offers me courage, comfort and most of the times, eyes to see with God’s perspective about the situation.
Quoting another book of wisdom, Ecclesiastes 8:17, “I recognized that one is unable to find out all God’s work that is done under the sun, even though neither by day nor by night do his/her eyes find rest in sleep. However, much one toils in searching, one does not find it out; and even if the wise one says that one knows, one is unable to find it out.” It appears, God has concealed from us the answers to life’s mysteries. We are not asked to decipher a mystery, only to have faith and believe.
From the most difficult circumstances to the lesser, there are no real answers. What we are called to is remaining hopeful. Viktor Frankel described hope as the key to survival amid the horrors of the concentration camp. Hope is the way God encourages us. Hope stirs up the memory of God’s abiding faithfulness, even in the most troublesome and unexpected of circumstances. Hope can expand our vision beyond our immediate horizon.
As I have grown in spiritual maturity, rather than questioning as much, I try to rely on some of what I know for sure. First, God is always near and ready to strengthen, encourage and comfort; secondly, God takes great delight and rejoices over me. (Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty Savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love.”) Third, I can count on daily signs of God’s presence; Fourth, God is an always present gift of help and love, a rainbow of mercy covering us. Fifth, the Holy Spirit taps me into limitless resources and so much more. These are only a small sampling of the abundant graces and blessings that God continues to showers us with.
As Sirach instructs, neither seek or search beyond our strength, so we will not know what tomorrow holds. However, most importantly, we do know that Jesus holds tomorrow and that is more than enough for all of us.
Would you like to share what you know for sure about God?