God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how half-hearted such insights maybe, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us. St. Teresa of Avila, translation by Mirabai Starr, The Interior Castle Page 37
“God rejoices,” St. Teresa says, “whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.”
You might wonder what God could teach you through periods of illness, suffering, or sorrow. To humans these three things are so negative that we cannot possibly imagine learning any good lesson by having to go through them. However, we often learn more about God’s goodness and mercy when we go through difficult times than we do when our lives are full of joy.
|Milky Way over Grand Tetons|
Sometimes we are so busy in our daily lives, heaping on more and more activities, that we don’t have time to think about God and his gifts to us. When we become so sick that we have to stop doing our regular everyday work, we suddenly have time to think and perhaps our thinking might dwell on God.
Certainly, one of the first things we might think about in times of illness is why God is making us sick, why he is making us suffer, why he is making us sorrowful. Yet, when everything is going our way we might not give a thought about God; we might not think how wonderful it is to be healthy, how amazing it is that we can do so much without suffering pain, how good it feels to be joyful.
A time of illness may be God’s only way of getting our attention so that we can hear him calling us—calling us to come to him, calling us to give thanks to him, calling us to listen to him and speak to him.
Take a moment now to give thanks to God for his love, mercy, and goodness to you; and ask him if there is something he is calling you to do, if there is some way in which you can serve him and love him for all that he has done for you.
© Judith Lawrence