Saturday of Week 25 in Ordinary Time
But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Common sense is not very common at all”? Indeed, sometimes when we are faced with a situation and the solution is so simple and straight-forward, we face-palm ourselves and wonder “Why didn’t we think about that in the first place? That was so obvious!”
I wish that I could say the same about the Bible and all of God’s teachings in there — that it is so obvious. I suppose if it were that simple, we would all just read it once through and think that well, now that we’ve read it, we know everything. Everyone could claim to be a learned theologian. But it is not that straight-forward.
Even now, when faced with trials in my life, I find it hard to fathom the meaning behind it and what God is trying to tell me when I fall back on His Word. Being the educated people that we are, why is it still difficult for us to understand the deeper meaning behind His teachings? I have had experiences where a certain verse was revealed to me and I found comfort and meaning during that time, only to stumble upon it again some years later and discover it contained a whole new meaning within the scope of a different situation. Furthermore, upon reflection of that event in my life and the reading of God’s Word thereafter, the understanding of that situation then hits me like a ton of bricks. A face-palm moment if you will. Why is it so obvious and yet not obvious at the same time?
My belief is that the meanings of certain things will be hidden from us until the right time when God will reveal it to us so that we will understand it, just as it was for the apostles. They could not understand it when Jesus spoke to them about his impending capture and death. He had predicted it three times and each time, there a general confusion as to what Jesus meant by having to be scourged and later killed by men, only to rise again. God wants to build our faith so that when the time comes for us to face our trials, we would have at least a stronger faith foundation to withstand it. This is not to say that we wouldn’t be brought to our knees; in fact God wants us to be brought to our knees in prayer but at that point, our faith in Him to deliver us would be our only anchor, and not our own understanding. We would be cognizant enough to acknowledge that God is the only one who can help us. At that point, our faith would have entered a new level of maturity in recognising when to let God take over. Had we understood everything before we were ready for it, we might not have gone through the same faith transformation and self-awareness. We might not have reached the same conclusions.
When things are going well, it is easy to fall into a comfortable state of being and maybe take things for granted. But God did not promise us good times without the bad. He did however, provide us with the grace of salvation through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, even if we do not deserve that grace. He promised us help during our trials, but it did not mean that we did not have to carry our crosses. It is in going through the ‘bad’ episodes in our lives that we scrape the bottom of our barrels and finding it empty, we then call on God to help us. We rely on God. Why don’t we just do that everyday then? Well, I suppose then it would be too obvious an answer. We might take the reliance for granted. Faith is a journey to be discovered. God provides us with the breadcrumbs along the way, but it is up to us to ask the questions and figure out the answers for ourselves. If all the answers were given to us, we wouldn’t be able to form our faith for ourselves, we wouldn’t grow our wisdom for discernment. As with all journeys, each will take us on a character-building and life-changing experience. What we glean from it is entirely up to us. If everything was made obvious to us, the path to self-discovery would be rather bland. Maybe it is not such a bad thing then that some things are not so common after all.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Dear Lord, as we journey through our lives with you, we pray for wisdom, awareness, and grace to face all of life’s episodes and emerge stronger from it all. Only then will our faith grow; only then can we grow with you.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for always being there for us, nudging us gently to correct our courses and helping us to discern. Thank you for walking with us all the way.