Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream; It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green. In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. - Jeremiah 17:7-8
Humans are a curious species. We like to know how and why things work; how and why this happened instead of that. We are obsessed with the causes that lead to certain effects, constantly seeking answers to questions that sometimes incite more questions. We are led to think that curiosity alone is the driving force behind our constant need to know. In the end, we are all simply guilty of wanting the answer to one question – why do “bad things” happen to us?
Sometimes, one unfavorable situation has a tendency to multiply, one after the other, until we feel we are sitting in a bottomless pit of despair, and the first instinct is to victimize ourselves into believing that we are being punished by the universe, or worse, by God.
When I entered a large public university after four years at a small, private Catholic all-girls’ high school, I thought I was ready to start my future as an adult. I would live away from home, study to be a chemical engineer and in between, still find a way to have a social life before graduating. It was a dream that I didn’t prepare hard enough to achieve and the first two years of college were spent trying to decipher physics, calculus and chemical formulas – things I couldn’t bring myself to want to understand. I performed so poorly in my classes that I was placed on academic probation, something I’d never, in all my years as a student, had to endure. I spent a lot of time feeling hopeless and pitiful, constantly asking the Lord why I’d wasted so much time studying to be someone that He obviously doesn’t want me to be. I was forced to take courses unrelated to science and engineering, and it was then that I discovered that God had other plans for me.
God always has other plans for us, and the hardships we encounter along the way are part of those plans. But instead of learning from those difficult situations, we often resist and question God’s intentions. Even Jesus, in the Garden of Gethseman, prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” This Lenten season, let us take the cup which the Lord hands us. Only in trusting Him can we be delivered.
reflected by Anna Lissa Gonda