Thursday, June 30, 2005
God is Tough  

I am not sure that there is another way for me to say this--God is tough. I mean He is tough toward us, His creatures. Now, do not get me wrong. I believe that God is all-loving and all-merciful, but I also believe He is tough. He asks us to do things that are really difficult. He allows circumstances that seem impossible. He says that He will not give us more than we can handle, but it seems like He really pushes that to the very limit He has on what we are able to handle.

If you doubt what I am saying consider the first reading for today's mass which is from the book of Genesis. It is the story of how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. (22:1b-19) The background to the story is familiar. God had promised to Abraham and Sarah that, although they were well advanced in years, they would have a son through whom numerous descendents would come. Abraham believed in God, and finally, years after the initial promise from God, Isaac was born.

After all of that, Isaac starts to grow up like any other boy. Then today's story occurs. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son. There is no other way to view God's request other than that it is tough, really tough. Years of trusting God, believing His word, and waiting patiently are about to come crashing down around Abraham. His son is to be taken from him by his own hand. It is absolutely amazing that Scripture does not record Abraham reacting like 99% of us would. We would think that this was an insane idea, and we were certainly not going to do it. It is far too difficult. No, it is impossible. If Abraham thought that, it is not recorded in Scripture. Instead, Scripture indicates that he believed even thinking that God could raise his son from the dead.

This toughness seems to be the way that God operates. He asks us to do painful things even in the midst of the difficult trials we are already facing. Keep in mind that Abraham is on God's side. He had believed God for years even when his wife doubted that they could have a son. Abraham had demonstrated remarkable patience in waiting for the fulfillment of God's word. What does he get in return? Another test of his faith. You see the same thing in the lives of the saints. The more faithful a saint is, the more God requires from him. The closer he gets to God, the more difficult the trials in his life are. (By the way, for those who might hold to a health and wealth gospel, you are completely missing the boat. Jesus call us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. If you do that you will face very difficult things in life.)

God continues to operate like that today. He still wants us to go through awful circumstances of pain and loss. He still calls us to follow Him through fiery ordeals. For instance, as I mentioned in a previous post, the Torres family is living through an unimaginable scenario. If we look at our own lives, we are bound to find unsolicited tribulations and calls from God to follow Him in a way that we could not imagine because it is so onerous. In other words, we see in our lives that God truly is tough. He has high demands, and He wants us to live through the tough times to transform us into people who continue to believe with an even stronger faith.

Posted by David at 3:00 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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