When I was sick with cancer a few years back, someone told me to meditate on this biblical verse -
1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
“Pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.”
I could not imagine how to be thankful for having cancer, but I tried. And miraculously, it changed everything. I began seeing my cancer as a gift, a gift that was changing me for the better, a gift that was leading me to a more meaningful life. A life where I learned how to thank God in all circumstances.
That lesson is coming in handy during this time of isolation and fear. We must never forget if we’re praying about it, God is working on it. God is making things happen for us even when we don’t see it, even when you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident. God is working on our prayers.
Sometimes God’s plan is painful and hard. We must never forget He told us to take up our crosses and follow Him. And we must also never forget God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls and coal into diamonds by using time and pressure. He is working on us too right now in this time of tension and anxiety.
A wise man once said: “You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of His divine plan.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola warns us against two specific dangers during a time of retreat.
1. The danger of “self-centeredness." I should always keep in mind that I am wanted even more than I want to be wanted. I must realize that I am being acted upon by the force of God. He is drawing me.
2. The second danger is that of "Discouragement." I must not look at the negative sides of things only. I must not fall into the trap of only considering my faults, the ability I do not have, nor the past which I have left, nor the current challenge I’m facing.
Today acknowledge the power of being wanted and the power of one wanting me to be wanted. Let go, fall into the arms of God.
Enter a period of silent prayer. Asking God" "What do you want me to learn from this?"
Pray to understand the Truth that God loves us wildly and wants the best for us – “Taste and see how good the Lord is.”
Reflect on the words of Mary when she was facing an unexpected challenge: Luke 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”