|Do you trust me?|
For Jasmine, trusting even when it was scary led to short term difficulties, but long term happiness. So in the first reading, this widow is in Zarephath, which is a town outside Israel. Elijah the prophet has been sent there by God because there was a drought in Israel. Apparently the drought is reaching out to Zarephath because this woman is almost out of food. She understands her plight well when she says that she's going to prepare one small meal and then go ahead and die. But she explains this to Elijah, this stranger who seems to be from God, and he says, "No, make me some food first." And she does it! As near as she can tell, this is a death sentence for her, because she's just given away the last of her food to a man who sort of said it would be ok.
And then when we have this gospel reading, where this woman gives her last two coins to God. She trusts everything to God and holds nothing back for herself. She isn't leaving herself an out in case God doesn't come through. Again, we have radical trust, but it's a little different this time. This one might be a little more relatable to us because woman puts her two small coins into the collection, and then she just leaves. We don't know what happens to her. We don't know if someone comes forward to take care of her. We don't know if she found a twenty dollar bill outside. We don't know if she spent the next several days hungry, or worse.
When you and I trust God, when we decide to put our life in his hands and hold nothing back for ourselves, we have no idea how that will turn out in the short run. In the long run, it' an absolute guarantee that he will bring you home to Heaven, but it's no guarantee of an easy life in the short run.
|Google Image: example|
Because just as soon as you think about trusting God at all times, then you have to consider the realities of life: what happens when you lose a job, when your marriage is on the rocks, when your kids are rebelling and taking their life down the toilet, when you're battling illness that you don't understand? That's when trust in God becomes almost impossible, but that's when it becomes the one thing there is to bring you through those dark places.
God allows so much suffering in this world that it can make trusting him actually quite difficult. There is no easy answer to that. There is only the cross. There is only Jesus Christ, the God who suffers with us so that we don't suffer alone. He never promised that we wouldn't suffer when we trust him, he only promised that we wouldn't suffer alone.
But the only way to actually grow in relationship with this God who loves us so much that he died for us, is to actually trust him. And that's scary. It's not scary because he might let you down, it's scary because you don't know what suffering he may ask of you. Not unlike Jasmine trusting Aladdin, if you choose to trust God, you don't know what highs and lows he'll take you on. But the end is secure.
So how is God asking you to step out on a limb today? Are you secure in life and is he asking you to take a risk with him? Are you in a dark spot right now, and is God asking you to hold his hand even tighter in the darkness? Whatever it is, go ahead and trust him today. Trust him more today than yesterday. Trust him even though you don't know how this turns out in the short run. In the long run he will bring you to eternal life.