Today's Gospel: Matthew 6, 7-15
I have an M.O., a behavior pattern, which drives me to protect myself. It shows its ugly head in assorted scenarios, but it materializes in a special way when I am overly worried or anxious or stressed about something. Protecting myself in these situations translates into becoming obsessed with assessing all possibilities in front of me, anticipating every possible scenario.
Like a lawyer preparing for trial, I think and overthink—even conducting complete and detailed conversations with myself where I outline not only what could happen, but also how I will respond, or what I will say.
A few years ago I shockingly realized that my physical therapist, my acupuncture doctor, and my spiritual director were actually all telling me the same thing: Open up your chest. Breathe as deep as you can. Let yourself be vulnerable, open, and genuine!
In truth, it takes a lot of discipline—and a deliberate choice—to stop the madness in my head in order to live open to the present moment, not worrying or fearful about the future.
I think this is what Jesus is talking about when He reminds us that ours is a loving Father whom we can trust, in whom we can rest, a Father with whom we can feel safe. This doesn’t mean we won’t experience hardship or hurt. It does mean we can be certain that God’s will for us is always grounded in love—and in His desire that one day we will join Him in Eternal Life.
With confidence, then, I can declare “your will be done,” certain that my Father will provide me my “daily bread.” I choose to trust in a God who wants to be present in whatever does happen. And when I do, I am shown first-hand the great and marvelous things that God has in mind for those who love Him.
My Lord, what are you trying to show me? What part of myself am I holding back? What specific area in my life can I offer up to my Father today?
Heavenly Father, with confidence and assurance, I place my family in your hands. May your will be done in my life and in my heart.
Copyright 2016 Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda
María has published broadly in the U.S., including the New York Times, St. Anthony Messenger, Our Sunday Visitor and other national and regional publications. She is a mom of four awesome adult children and six phenomenal grands. She's published six books, and contributed to numerous more. Her latest book is The Shepherd Who Didn't Run: Father Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma. Maria blogs about finding God in daily life at DaybyDaywithMaria.blogspot.com.