Thursday, June 30, 2005

Abraham's Lessons & God's Arms of Love

God is teaching me lessons in faith through the daily mass readings about Abraham. The man who believed that God would send him a son despite his very old age was once again put to the test when God asked him to surrender that beloved son. It's true for it is written, "God put Abraham to the test" (Gn 22:1b [NAB]).

I think I'm again being put to the test, after God and I had moved some inches in my lessons in waiting. Now that I have promised to try to live simply and even actually let go of my salary, I'm being challenged to teach the people around me to adjust to that. I'm being taught the value of money and at the same time being detached from it. Unfortunately, some people who are close to me refuse to accept my new situation. It breaks my heart that I can't please them anymore just because my choice is affecting their lifestyle choices. I wish I were a better witness in this regard, but I also don't have the capacity at this point to explain properly that we could be happy without having to spend so much. I realized that sensitivity is not everybody's gift and one of my friends just drove a four-wheel drive truck over my heart, my pride, and my value to her as a friend.

So I came before the Lord to say that if this means I have to ease up on this friendship for a while, then may He give me the grace to do so, because I value this friend. Then I read about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac. I knew that it was just a test of faith and I said Yes to God once again. He is not so cruel as to ask of me something that would not teach me something of far greater importance. Abraham did not stop loving Isaac; he just loved God more. I've had some Isaacs in the past already. Just as I was asking God to comfort me during this time of painful giving up, which occurs daily now, I heard a song that more than comforted me.

I am enjoying a month-long vacation these days but there are many threats to that vacation, from people who continue to demand and expect without noticing that the chicken that lays the golden egg has become dehydrated already. I wish I could live in a beach resort for a month and put a sign at the door - "Do Not Disturb - Cleansing Ongoing".

Arms of Love
Amy Grant

Lord I'm really glad You're here.
I hope You feel the same when You see all my fear,
And how I fail,
I fall sometimes.

It's hard to walk in shifting sand.
I miss the rock, and find I've nowhere left to stand;
I start to cry.
Lord, please help me raise my hands so You can pick me up.
Hold me close,
Hold me tighter.

I have found a place where I can hide.
It's safe inside
Your arms of love.
Like a child who's helped throughout a storm,
You keep me warm
In Your arms of love.

Storms will come and storms will go.
Wonder just how many storms it takes until
I finally know
You're here always.
Even when my skies are far from gray,
I can stay;
Teach me to stay there,

In the place I've found where I can hide.
It's safe inside
Your arms of love.
Like a child who's helped throughout a storm,
You keep me warm
In Your arms of love.

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