God, the Last Resort? [Podcast #003]
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth. So why does it seem like I only turn to him as a last resort? Only after I've tried my best and failed yet again. Only after I've exhausted all my resources do I turn to Him. He who I claim to be the Creator of the Universe, the almighty, all-powerfull, and omnipotent God who loved me into existence. Where is my faith? I think a lot of Christians have this problem. Where is our faith?
Do We Really Believe?
We don’t trust in God. We say that we believe that He is almighty. We say that we believe that He can do anything, that He’s all-powerful, but when we’re faced with a little adversity in our lives we don’t think that He can help us out. We don’t trust that He can help us.
We’ve got to turn to the Word of God. In the living Word of God, in the holy scriptures, God speaks to us. Most recently I was reading the story of Hezekiah and Sennacherib, which you can find in 2 Kings 18-19. So Hezekiah is the king of Judah and Sennacherib is the king of Assyria. Sennacherib is just moving across conquering all of these nations and taking over. So Sennacherib sends some of his officials over to Hezekiah basically challenging him. He sends them with this letter telling Hezekiah, do you really think that your God is going to save you? Look at all that I’ve been doing. Look my army. Look how I’ve been going across conquering all of these nations. Do you really think that your God is going to save you? All of these nations prayed to their gods and their gods didn’t save them. So who are you to think that your God is going to protect you?
What I love is Hezekiah’s response. The first thing that he does is he goes straight to the Temple, lays out the letter, and calls out to God praising Him and asking for His help. God answers Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah and basically assures him that He’s going to be there for him, He’s going to protect him and He’s not going to let Sennacherib come and conquer Judah. Hezekiah is obviously relieved and in the end God ends up slaying 185,000 of Sennacherib’s troops and sends him running back to Niniveh.
I love this example, first because of Hezekiah’s faith, his trust in God. The first thing he does is turn to God. He doesn’t wait until he tries all of these other ideas, he doesn’t try to strategize all these things. He turns to god, praises God, asks Him for His help and God answers him. And in the end what I love about it is that God has a funny way of answering our prayers. Instead of just saying “okay, I’ll protect you and I won’t let them attack you,” He sends Sennacherib running. He shows, He proves to Hezekiah and to Sennacherib that He is there, He is real, that He is who He says He is. That we should believe in Him, trust in Him, and put our faith in Him in every aspect of our lives.
Learning to Trust
I share this story with you because I know that all of us Christians, especially we as Catholics, need to have that same trust as Hezekiah, to turn to God first thing. Whenever we’re faced with adversity, with challenges, with struggles in our lives, we’re always going to have difficulties, but if we put our faith in God—just like St. Paul says “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7) We’ve got to trust in God. We’ve got to follow Him.
“How often we look upon our God as our last and feeblest resource. We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go and then we learn that the storms of life have driven us not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.”
~ George McDonald
And it’s true. We often find ourselves turning to God as the last resort, only when we’ve exhausted every other resource. But what God wants us to do is to turn to Him first. He is our Father and He’s always there for us. He’s always listening. We just have to trust in Him. We just have to call out to Him and He’s going to be there for us.
I think as humans we have a problem with trust. We don’t want to trust anybody, but ourselves let alone God. And I think of two friends, one friend is struggling and the other wants to help, but he knows that if he just steps in uninvited then his friend’s pride might be hurt. And his friend has too much pride to be able to ask for help. In a sense, God is the same way. He wants to help us, but we have to ask for the help. He doesn’t want to step in and be kind of puppeteering our lives. But if we ask Him for help, I’m sure He’s more than willing to step in and help us out. We have to be able to set aside our pride, trust in God, and know that He is our friend, our Father and He is there for us.
He is all-powerful. He can do anything. I believe in God, the Father almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth. I believe in miracles. I believe God is working in my life, in your life, and in all of His people. I believe that God is present here and now in this world, active in our lives, accessible in Scripture, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I believe that God is present in you and me. I believe that God is helping us to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.