Jesus continued, “You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding. You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal. You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning”. (Luke 6: 20 – 21)
An 8-year-old child of a couple in the parish was devasted when their football team never made it to the semi-finals. He asked his father how there could be a God since no one answered his or all the other long-suffering fans’ fervent prayers for the team.
Patiently, the father explained to his son that God has more important issues to deal with than the football semi-finals. The child grew quiet and then with tears in his eyes asked his father very softly, “Then how could have God allowed the Holocaust?” “Talk to your mother” was the only answer the father had left.
It’s not easy to trust in God. We are consistently tempted to find facile answers and easy solutions to problems of incredible magnitude and complexity. We have the need to solve all problems, to sew up all the loose ends, to fold everything into a neat package.
Unfortunately, life isn’t that predictable. Nothing reminds us of questions that lurk hidden inside us more than the reality of death, especially of a loved one for whom we have been praying. How much easier it is to believe in God and to relate to God when life is going well, when we appear to be getting all for which we pray.
In the reality that is our human existence, God is a loving partner who struggles alongside us on life’s journey, not some wish-fulfilling magician who capriciously changes what is going to be.