I’ve been giving some serious thought over the past few days about how I struggle with some things in my life and never seem able to come to terms or overcome these particular issues. I constantly ask God to help – even plead, but nothing seems to come back.
And I got to thinking…
There I am, praying everyday, asking for this and that, to be blessed in all sorts of ways. But when God does deliver, does offer with both hands, I start getting picky, like choosing only those chocolates I like from the selection box, the gifts that give a little buzz and pleasure, those I enjoy.
The other ‘sweets’ in the box I tend to leave alone, discard, or put onto one side with a response like: “Thank you, but I’ll tackle that later” – like not wanting to waste time chewing through a tough toffee when there are soft centres that can be absorbed more easily and give the buzz ‘I want’. The hard stuff I’ll leave to later, that’s if I can ever be bothered to go back to it at all.
And then the next day I start all over again: “Lord help me with this, help me with that…” and the whole process is repeated over and over until it is God’s time to step in and break the hopless cycle.
Last night Jesus stepped in… In my mind’s eye I saw a picture of Him with his two hands outstretched before me, similar to how one receives communion in the hand. Both hands were full of gifts, some in brightly coloured wrapping, others in dull brown paper tied with string, which I didn’t like the look of. But I took them all because I was concerned if I didn’t maybe He wouldn’t offer them again.
And yes, it was the bright boxes that I first began to open – every fool knows that all good things come in bright and attractive wrapping. So I continued sifting through the gifts, taking some, ignoring others, until I sensed that I was being shown a lesson, God’s revealing ways. And then I realised how blind I have been to the fact that the Father only hands out goodness, nothing bad. There isn’t a bad bone in Him; that the brown paper gifts, the tough toffees, are full of God’s goodness and neccessary for my health in mind, body and soul; and that if I don’t start chewing on the hard toffees, the tough decisions, and having patience to untie the knots on the string parcels, then I will remain deficient in many areas of my life.
I have to WORK at the gifts and the talents handed to me by God, not sit back and look for the soft and easy route all of the time. I know now that graces come in all sizes, colours and packages. All, like vitamins, are given to me because I am need of them. If I discard some then my spirit will not be healthy. My body also may suffer unneccessary.
Our Lady gives gifts of plenty from Medjugorje. There is a programme called the Five Stones. It involves Prayer, Fasting, Monthly Reconciliation, reading the Bible and frequent attendance at Mass. All beautiful gifts, but not always easy to chew on or even swallow. It can be so easy to be ‘picky’ with these as well.
So next time I come on to God, the Father Son and Holy Spirit, asking for this and that, I have a feeling He will say, “I gave you that last week. Best check inside yourself first. Go on, make an effort. Untie the string, take off the wrapper and get chewing!”