“… For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11-12.God’s plan for my life is perfect and I need to trust that — even if it means the possibility of great pain! Going through great pain in union with God’s grace, will in turn foster great character. “No pain—no gain!” If you want to “gain” great character, then allow Our Lord to mold you through your pain and struggles. Rely on His strength to carry you and His love to comfort you. In every difficult circumstance and relationship that God brings to you, His grace is waiting to be grasped to equip you with His strength to bring you through it. God wants to use the crosses that He allows us to carry to fit us for the tasks that He calls us to do! St. John Vianney said, “If we do not carry our crosses with joy, then they will be of no use to us.” Our Lord allows the crosses He in His wisdom asks us to carry. He desires for us to carry them with joy, knowing they are forming our interior life in His love. God does not ask us to carry our crosses alone, though. His strength comes in many different forms. There is the interior peace and strength that comes through our own fervent prayer; there are the people, like Simon of Cyrene, that God puts in our lives to literally “help” us carry our cross, and then there are the friends and family that carry us through their prayers for us. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus himself presents to us the very real need for friends who support us in faith. He asked his disciples — his friends, to stay awake with him for one hour as he shed tears of blood and cried out to God in agony. His friends fell asleep and Jesus confronted them by saying, “… could you not stay awake with me one hour ?” (Matthew 26:40) Friends may fail us in our time of need, but God will always equip us with His strength in some form. How has God’s strength been manifested in your life?
Copyright 2018 Kathleen M. Billings
About the Author
Kathleen Billings blogs at seasonsoftheheartandhome.com. She writes about living her faith in every season, as a wife and a mother of five, amidst the ordinary moments each day that God wants to make extraordinary. She has a BA in Theology, is a regular blogger on marriage for the USCCB Website, a contributing author to the book "Amazing Grace for Mothers," and an active Catholic speaker.