Recently during prayer, I’ve been really focusing on the simplicity of Jesus and following Him. On the outside, it’s really easy for me to make it look like I’m following Jesus. I can do all the right prayer postures and say all the right words, but if my mundane daily living doesn’t reflect a heart on fire for God, am I really becoming the person God created me to be? It’s so easy to compartmentalize my relationship with Jesus as something that happens only during Sunday Mass or my personal prayer time in the morning. Then, when I leave my house, what happened during those moments flies completely out the window.
One thing I’m really working on with the Lord is trust. Trust in His goodness, trust in His plan for my life, and trust that He is who He says He is. This might seem like a basic thing to work on for a disciple of Jesus, but isn’t that the thing that even Adam and Eve struggled with? I mean, from the beginning of Genesis to today’s modern world, we are constantly battling the lie being fed to us that we cannot trust God or that He does not have our best interest in mind. Lack of trust is one of the main temptations in staying far from God. For my own life, it causes me to take matters into my own hands and make things happen for myself because I can’t trust that God will do it.
I didn’t realize I actually believed this until a couple of years ago in a therapy session where I was brought face to face with that reality. I had been following Jesus as an active disciple for years. I was a missionary for two years. I even worked for the Catholic Church telling people about God for a living. There wasn’t one big thing that happened to make me not trust God, just a lot of little things and lies I allowed to enter into my life. When you start to believe the lies, they get rooted and become twisted truths. I knew I desperately needed the Lord to undo this work in me.
During Advent in 2021, I really wanted to focus on the simplicity and hiddenness of Mary. I felt like I could relate to her in that way because I was tired of constantly trying to prove to the world that I was worthy. I was tired of constantly being connected and in a cycle of hurry. I was tired of just not trusting God. Again, there wasn’t a loud moment where all of a sudden I am a perfect disciple of trust, but what did happen were a lot of little, mundane, everyday experiences that I invited God into. There was one day where I knew I’d need money for something coming up that I didn’t have. I asked the Lord for spirit of trust and told Him what I needed. Then, I just waited. I didn’t worry. I didn’t get anxious. I didn’t freak out. I knew the Lord saw my need and would provide in some way, whether that be monetarily or in some other fashion. The day I needed this money, I was asked to speak at a retreat because another speaker had to cancel. The stipend? Exactly what I needed. That was just one example of something that happened during Advent.
I really believe that the opposite of trusting is striving. When we try to earn God’s love or try to coerce things to happen, all that ends up happening is we get burnt out and tired. There’s a reason why it says in the Bible that God’s burdens are light and His yoke is easy. When we pair up with Him and allow Him to carry our burdens, we have an opportunity for God to show us who He is. We have an opportunity for Him to undo the lie that we can’t trust Him in our hearts.
I want to live my life where every single moment, I’m reminded of being in God’s grace and friendship. I don’t want my life relationship with Jesus to be a stagnant, compartmentalized friendship that is reduced to a couple of hours a week. I want a vibrant life where I can remind other people that God really is for us and we can trust in His providence. This kind of life only comes from allowing the grace of God to permeate our entire beings at every moment of the day.
Recently during prayer, I’ve been really focusing on the simplicity of Jesus and following Him.