“But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what good will your gifts be, if I keep on being childless?’” (Genesis 15:2)
I love the story of Abraham. His is a story of promise, of patience, and perseverance. His is a story of doubt, despair, and deceit. There's a lot of you and me in Abraham. There's a lot of our story in his story. The story of Abraham and Sarah has much to teach us.
Today's first reading at Mass is a legendary conversation between God the Father and Abram. Today illustrates the continuation of God's promise to Abram: his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky. God has promised; God has spoken.
Yet, we can hear Abram's fatigue today as he replies ... when? “But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what good will your gifts be, if I keep on being childless?’” (Genesis 15:2)
Abram did indeed experience transformation. God changed his name from Abram to Abraham. God blessed him abundantly with descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abraham died a blessed man. However, none of it happened how Abraham thought it would; none of it happened when Abraham thought it would.
Most of us who read blogs like this believe in God, want God, and are in relationship with God. Most of us who read blogs like this know God is faithful and comes through on His promises. However, most of us quietly ask ... when? When will our prayers be answered? When will our lives be transformed? When will that burden be lifted? When will that miracle happen? When will we feel His nearness again? When will our marriages, and families, and loved ones experience the blessings we yearn for?
There's a difference between waiting for God to do something versus waiting with God as He does something when and how He wants. The beauty of Abraham's story is that Abraham journeyed with the Lord as he waited for the promise to be fulfilled. You and I have to do the same.
God has heard you. I promise you ― God has heard you. Now, until your deepest prayer gets answered you'll be tempted to ask ... when? As time passes, and it seems as if nothing is happening, the fatigue of the wait will tempt you to believe that God isn't doing anything. Then, in the fatigue, you'll ask ... when? That's where you and I need to stay in relationship. Stay still ... stay with the Lord ... wait with God as you wait for God.
Where have you been begging for a miracle? What relationship or issue have you longed for God to display His power? What have you been begging God for? Where are you asking “when?” There ― right there ― are you waiting with God or for God?
Today @ IPF:
The 169 seminarians in the Seminarians Summer Program continue with their morning class, “Celibacy and Sexuality.” Today the men will learn more about how to better choose virtue and chastity in the face of temptation during spiritual desolation.
The 22 priests and seminarians here for the 30-day retreat will begin day 1 of orientation for the Spiritual Exercises. Silence begins Friday night. Day 1 of the retreat is Saturday.
Today's Quote from Pope Benedict XVI:
“In prayer, we must learn to have greater trust in Divine Providence, to ask God for the strength to abandon our own selves in order to renew our 'yes', to repeat to Him, 'your will be done', to conform our will to His. This is a prayer we must repeat every day, because it is not always easy to entrust oneself to the will of God.”
― General Audience, February 1, 2012