A Hidden God
Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.
Most of us have heard the story of the man who got caught in his house during a terrible flood. When the water was up to his door step, a boat bearing kind neighbors came to rescue him. He declined the offer saying, “No thank you. God will rescue me.” The next day, the water reached his upstairs balcony. Another boat came his way with the same offer. Again, he refused the proposal explaining that God would indeed rescue him. Late the following day, while sitting on the chimney, he saw a helicopter hovering over him. Again, he was not interested in taking advantage of an offer, and made it clear that God would rescue him.
Finally, the man died and went to heaven. He was not happy of course, and found himself complaining to St. Peter saying: “I expected you to come and save me. Where were you?” St. Peter explained that God had sent two boats and one helicopter. He had turned all of them down. At least now he was experiencing an early heaven, if nothing else.
God With Us
Reading this narrative, prompted me to reflect on how often, in a hidden way, God is with us during the day. Without our being aware of it, God often works for our good through others and through different circumstances. Often, the ways of God are not only unique but hidden. Each night, as darkness sets in to soothe our tired bodies and spirits, it behooves us, if only for a short time, to reflect on how God may have helped us during the day.
It follows that if God works in my life this way, then the same is true of others. This means that, at times, God may use us as an instrument for the benefit of others. We may be asked to listen, to comfort, to understand, to say the encouraging word and to walk that extra mile for someone else. In addition, there will be times when we do not know that God is using us. Upon recall, we may not even remember what we said that was strengthening, or what may have been inspiring for the other person. From day to day, we are always encouraged to stay in touch with our inner voice and those gentle stirrings of our hearts, both of which open a way for God to act.
Carmelite Edith Stein, known as Sister Teresa Benedicta, O.C.D., felt that it is not unusual for God to employ hidden secrets in dealing with us. Furthermore, we may not know the fullness of these secrets until they are made manifest at the end of our lives. For Edith, just knowing that the secrets of God were there gave her deep courage when life was difficult. It may be the same with us. There are times when we, too, wonder about ourselves and the situations that seem to be upon us. If we are serious about life, there may even be times when we experience the absence of God. Like Edith, perhaps we, too, are called to take comfort and to believe that God is working quietly in our lives, regardless of what it may look like. Furthermore, it is always possible that God is getting a gift ready for us.
One does not walk alone.
Along the way, God’s help comes in many forms.
-Mother of Life Center
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