The readings from both 2 Kings and John emphasize that God sees and is concerned about our needs, whether or not we have asked him for help. Also, God often uses others who generously offer what they have – and through them God is able to provide more than enough. In faith we believe this. It’s not that we don’t know the scriptures or haven’t ever personally witnessed God’s generosity in the past, but panic can set in when the need is personal… Perhaps our deep-rooted insecurity comes from having seen our human support system fail us in the past, and we can easily transfer the fear of a repetition to God. But God is NOT unreliable!! God’s loving care for us will never disappoint us. It’s good that we run to God in our need, even if frantically at times. God will always answer our prayers, and will always reveal how precious we are to him and that we are constantly surrounded by his love and protection.
So often our faith-difficulties arise not because God did not answer our prayers, but rather because he didn’t answer them in the way that we wanted! (Not only do we often hope for an instantaneous miracle, but we want to dictate how it will look!) God is not bound by our limited vision and understanding of the situation. God’s plan is to respond not only to OUR needs, but also to the needs of his other beloved children, all within the same generous action – and to weave together the strands of all of our lives in such a way that each person’s life reaches its ultimate goal. Thus God’s desire for each of us comes to fruition in a glorious way.
We all probably tend to be myopic when it comes to our own needs, and being “stretched” to move out of our comfort zone can be a painful process. But God intends for us to have the scales removed from our eyes just as St. Paul’s were. God was very concerned about Paul’s inability to see the bigger picture, and so he intervened, first blinding Paul and then healing him, using a reluctant Ananias to open him to the mystery of God’s ways. Saul allowed his heart to be stretched, and thus he began to embrace God’s BIG plan for his own life and that of God’s Chosen People. (Acts 9: 2-19)
God desires so much more for our lives than our own individual small plans could ever conceive. And he often also plans some surprises along the way. As both our readings attest, God can draw in others to help in our conversion process, and God has the patience to wait for us to arrive at a place of readiness to finally surrender. After the miracle with the loaves and the fish, Jesus reflects: “Nothing will be wasted.” (Jn 6:12). No, not a single experience that was part of our growth and conversion will be wasted. It all gets woven into God’s beautiful tapestry. Nothing is ever wasted…
-S. Patrice Yarborough
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