Guardian Angels News

Pastoral Pearls: The Joy That Only God Can Give

Posted by MaryPat Potts on

­We face so many challenges in life: poverty, distress, humiliation, struggle for justice, persecutions, the difficulty of daily conversation, the effort to remain faithful to our call to holiness, and many others.  But if we open the door to Jesus and allow him to be part of our lives, if we share our joys and sorrows with him, then we will experience the peace and joy that only God, who is infinite in love, can give. ~ Pope Francis from 365 Daily Meditations with Pope Francis, May 23

Wow did I ever need to hear this today! Can you identify any challenges that you are experiencing right now? For me I feel like I’m being hit from all sides with major life decisions and happenings that are painful and frightening, and definitely overwhelming. Each one of those challenges has huge impacts on my life, and there are so many decisions for each one. It’s hard to figure out what to do first, and pretty soon I feel like I’m falling into a tailspin.

Whew! Take a breath! Okay, now it’s clear to me that this high level of anxiety I’m feeling has a lot to do with how much I am trying to control, how I am trying to figure things out myself, and falling short and feeling frustrated. What’s wrong with this picture? Oops, I guess that in my overwhelm and anxiousness I forgot the one thing that could make everything easier. I neglected to open the door and invite Jesus into this conversation. I erroneously thought I had to do it all, and forgot to include God.

Just how do I include God? One way is to lean into the suffering and frustration that Jesus himself experienced, making him the perfect one to understand what I’m going through, therefore the one who could calm me down and comfort me, and bring me some peace. How do I open the door? Take a few minutes out of the frantic “doing,” to sit quietly with Jesus, tell him what I’m dealing with and let my feelings pour out to him.

In the same way I can invite the Holy Spirit to guide me in all of the overwhelming decisions that face me, and to help me break each challenge down into bit-sized pieces that I could handle little by little. The Holy Spirit can guide me to my “next best step.” And then the next one and the next And God’s creative Spirit can also remind me of all the tools I have that are right inside me, and enhance my strength, my perseverance, my creativity, and infuse his wisdom into my heart.

It shouldn’t be so hard to allow God to be part of my daily life, and to fill me with the peace, joy, love that only he can provide, but I am human, and I need to be reminded often. But when I do bring God in, I know from experience (and I bet you do too) that things work out better, and with less struggle, and with more optimism.  

 Loving God,

here I am asking you through Jesus and your Holy Spirit, to come into these overwhelming challenges before me, and with me, to guide me and empower me, so that I may find peace in knowing that my decisions reflect your will and your love.

Thank you for your wisdom, strength and comforting peace during this time, and for helping me to always know my Next Best Step.

~ Amen


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