Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”
I recently attended a funeral of a friend who died far too young, too fast, and with so much suffering, and this particular quote was printed on the back of the funeral card with his picture. Just a simple bible quote, ...."to act justly, to love kindness, to walk humbly with our God". I was struck by its simple but almost poetic words because truly at the end of the day, at the end of our life that is all we should strive for, all we can give to God.
It's been such a difficult year for all of us, this never ending pandemic, that has caused so much stress in all of our lives, causing some of us, to ask, "Why God" Our Faith is not easy, and it always hinges on Trust. Jesus words to his disciple Thomas "Blessed are those that have not seen and yet believe" expose the greatest spiritual challenge of faith. Words that we all struggle with, because we all "want to see" we all want to believe.
Real authentic faith will always be plagued with doubt. We all flounder and fall. All the great saints struggled with doubt but the one thing they did not do is throw in the towel. Somehow they all made it through the other side stronger than ever. I love the words of St. Paul who tells us "Faith is a certainty of what we cannot see"
So how do we live a life of gratitude and joy amidst a world that is immersed in fear and doubt? Sure, it's easy to say just be happy, look at your blessings. Put your faith and trust in God. Easier said than done. We are not all cut from the same cloth. We need to be mindful of that, because so many are struggling, so many are fearful, and for some that struggle intensely, they are unable to truly trust God, not because they don't want to but because they are unable, due to something deep within themselves. So many people are suffering silently, with loneliness, depression, and anxiety, that we must be careful to never judge what someone else is going through, because by insisting to someone who is suffering that they should just trust God with whatever they are going through just honestly makes them feel worse by adding guilt and shame and can plunge them into a crisis of faith. I know this firsthand, as I have walked this path, and it was only through love, patience, understanding, tremendous hope and faith that I was able to overcome and come out stronger on the other side
I don't know where you are in your faith journey friend, but I do know that God always gives us hope. His people failed Him again and again, just as many of us fail Him daily. But he gave us each other to help us on our journey of faith on the path of life! So let us travel together in hope and in joy because all he really expects of us is to "act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"