Many of us are familiar with the famous words of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry” – but how many times do we follow his advice? It’s easy to trust God when things are going well. Our prayers may be filled with thanksgiving as we reflect on the many blessings we have been given. We may walk around with a good feeling about life. This may not be the case when we begin to experience troubles. Job loss, sickness, relationship difficulties or the death of a family member can suddenly turn our lives upside-down. How do we handle these situations?
The Lord works in mysterious ways and we must learn to trust Him in all situations. While worrying or getting angry is certainly understandable, it’s something that we should work on eliminating from our lives. One of my favorite Biblical examples of trust is when Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gn 22), as requested by The Lord. I find it astonishing that Abraham didn’t even ask any questions – he just obeyed! I can see myself in that situation saying, “But Lord, don’t you know that he’s my only son? I thought you said I was going to have numerous descendents – how is that going to happen if Isaac dies? Don’t you know how difficult it was to have a son at my wife’s age?” Abraham obeyed God because he trusted.
I’m not going to say that I never worry, because I do. However, when I find myself worrying about situations that are beyond my control – I know that I’m not trusting God as much as I should. Instead of getting down on myself, I look at it as a starting point for my prayer. The Lord knows that I’m weak and wants to help me. I sometimes use the words of the father who asked Jesus to remove the unclean spirit from his son, “I do believe, help my unbelief” (Mk 9:24). Then after praying, my hope increases and eventually… I even stop worrying!