If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Voice


 
I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1)


In prayer,
complaining about our circumstances
and unmet expectations,
losing sleep over
unanticipated expenses,
frustrating delays
and revolving changes of plans.
 
Then the Voice interrupts my thoughts.
It catches me off guard.
“Did I send you there?”
 
Reflexively I respond, “Yes.”
I don’t need to think about it. I am sure of it.
“Then what are you worrying about?”
 
His question slowly settles over me.
It is gentle. Soft. Curious.
It quiets me.
 
Days later I read John’s gospel.
My eyes stop at His words,
“I am the good shepherd.”*
The Voice again catches me off guard.
And again it is gentle. Soft. Curious.
“Am I your shepherd?” 
He emphasizes ‘your.’
 
Reflexively I respond, “Yes.”
I don’t need to think about it. I am sure of it.
“Then what are you worrying about?”
 
Not yet finished, He reminds me
of a text I memorized:
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And through the rivers,
they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.**
 
And the Voice asks,
“Am I with you?  Now? Here?”
 
He knows what I will say before I say it.
He does not need to ask the next question.  
Already I am thinking it:
“Then what are you worrying about?”
 
This is not the first time
in forty years of walking with Christ
I’ve struggled with failed expectations
of what God will do and when He will do it.
And, knowing myself as I know myself,
neither will this be the last time He and I
will need to have this kind of talk.
 
I think God is okay with that.
I think He expects such fears
and frustration
and confusion
from me.
 
He knows I am only dust.
He has compassion on me
as a parent has compassion
on his child.***
 
But what of you?
 
Do you struggle with frustration
and delay
and difficulty?
Has God again failed to meet your expectations?
 
Then hear His Voice.:
“Am I your good shepherd?” He asks.
“Am I with you? Now?
Here?”
 
And you will also hear Him say . . . .
 
 
* John 10:11
** Isaiah 43:2
*** Psalm 103:13-14

11 comments:

Melanie Jean Juneau said...

it takes us such a long time to truly learn to walk as children of God. Just last winter one tank of oil lasted from Dec. 11 to the spring..usually it need filled every 3-4 weeks. We were too up tight at first even to thank Him..we kept running down to check the oil gage!

http://melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/7-qt-friday-and-modern-miracles/

Anonymous said...

There has been an annoying blur in my left eye for a few weeks. Not having found an eye doctor since our move back to Ohio, I recently selected one on the strength of a local newspaper article about his practice. "I will have a simple eye exam and get a prescription for some (stronger) eyeglasses", I thought. But this past Wednesday the doctor did and redid my tests, and then looked deeper into my eyes. One third of the central vision in my left eye is gone, and there is a blockage in a blood vessel in the retina. It's possible the damage can worsen suddenly, and the right eye is also in danger. He tells me I must monitor my sight carefully until I have more tests done next week, and I will visit one or more unknown doctors after that. At first I feel as though the wind has been knocked out of me. I sit there in the doctor's office unable to think, or breathe. And then --- I hear the music being piped in to the examining room. This doctor is a Christian! The hymns of praise flow into my mind and over my spirit like holy oil. "When peace, like a river attendeth my way; when sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well, it is well with my soul...'" God is there, and "He leadeth me...". I do not need to see the path. I only need to put my hand in His. ~ Rosemary in Ohio

Rich Maffeo said...

Melanie, your comment made me grin with understanding. Been there, done that myself too many times. Aren't we glad He is so patient. So very patient with us.

Rich Maffeo said...

Rosemary, I gasped when I read your comment. I prayed immediately for you, and will continue to do so. May I share this with my Facebook friends for their prayers as well?

Anonymous said...

Rich, thank you for your prayers. I would be so very thankful for you to share with your Facebook friends. ~ Rosemary in Ohio

Rich Maffeo said...

I posted earlier today. Lots of people have said they will pray. If you are on FB, friend me if you like.

truthfinder2 said...

Thank you! I did send you a friend request, and a message. (The message might end up in your "Other" message folder.) "I don't know about tomorrow, but I know He holds my Hand." ~ Rosemary in Ohio

Barb Schoeneberger said...

A beautiful post. I have to keep reminding myself that He is in charge and I shouldn't worry, no matter what.

Rich Maffeo said...

We are still trying to find a good church 'fit' since our move from WA. We visited a second one today and I was brought nearly to tears of relief to hear a homily so positive and uplifting as we heard today from the pastor. We've felt so beat-up since leaving our home and friends in WA. And again God reminded me, "what are you worrying about?"

Barb Schoeneberger said...

In most dioceses God has placed a jewel or two for faithful Catholics. If we ever move again, it will be somewhere where we can join an FSSP parish. I'm very tired of the rootless feeling created by sloppy adherence to Summorum Pontificum in our current diocese.

Rich Maffeo said...

I just want a place where Christ is preached in all His glory, and Church teaching is upheld in all its purity of doctrine. I want a place to worship and grow in Christ, sensing the love and chastisement of Christ when necessary -- not where I will be brow beaten by legalists who haven't a clue of God's mercy.