“The sea is not less beautiful in our eyes because we know that sometimes ships are wrecked by it.” ~ Simone Weil
In today’s 1st Reading (Judges 6:11-24), our protagonist Gideon, who be his own admission is “the most insignificant of his father’s house,” a house he describes as “the lowliest in Manasseh,” expresses a sentiment that I would venture to say each and every one of us have as well at some point or another. When an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in an effort to reassure and embolden him for the battle that was soon to be his, he asked “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” “Where,” he goes on to ask, “are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers told us when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’”Gideon then goes on to conclude that “For now the Lord has abandoned us and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”
As we watch the current events tragically unfold in Afghanistan, Taliban members gleefully storming the Presidential palace with cameras in hand and gloating expressions on their scraggly faces, the parallel to today’s Reading is hard to ignore. The bad guys appear to have won. But at that moment it was the Lord Himself who turned to Gideon offering these words:
“Go with the strength you have and save Israel from the power of Midian. It is I who send you.” As we face the battles in our daily lives, God sends His beloved into the world with very same instruction. His message to us is the same message he gave Gideon in the closing words of this passage: “Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die.” Those who glorify the Son of God are galvanized by those words. They will not die. That battle was waged on the road to Calvary 2,000 years ago, the enemy vanquished. Death has lost.
Just as everything created by God is done so for a very precise and good reason, so too is every situation allowed to unfold in our lives for our greater good. God’s providence is so immense and so powerful, that although it embraces all of creation, it tends to every otherwise seemingly irrelevant but vital detail of our lives. The very hairs of our heads are counted (Luke 12:7, Matthew 10:30). God keeps the entire universe in order while simultaneously taking a very sincere and very real interest in each of our lives.
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 19:23-30) speaks of a camel being threaded though the eye of a needle https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Widening-The-Eye-Of-The-Needle. In a similar way, we can view divine providence as this golden needle and thread that is intricately interwoven into the beautiful tapestry that God weaves. At the end of time, when Jesus returns in glory, we will see the end result of this divine tapestry. For now we can merely see parts. This is frustrating. But we must adopt an eternal perspective. The God of the Universe has a vested personal interest in you and me. There are so many who do not believe this. How tragic. Those who do grasp this and believe it however are perpetually galvanized by it, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the winds of perseverance coursing through them and sustaining them. They endure. They help others to do the same. https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Never-in-Vain-Never-Alone-and-Never-Forever.
Have faith in the God who loves and fights for His children. And know that it is only in times of trial and tribulation that we grow and are made stronger. Or in the words of American Novelist Chuck Palahniuk, “Yes, terrible things happen, but sometimes those terrible things - they save you.”
"We are in difficulties on every side, but never consumed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8).