I recently spent two hours in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel seeking an answer concerning a struggle I was having with one of my children. I was tired and my heart was heavy with frustration. No matter how much I prayed, no matter how hard I tried to be patient and endure, nothing in this situation was changing for the better. The solution just had to be there but at the moment, I felt blind and a little disheartened by it all.
It wasn’t until right before I had to go that I gained some real insight. There was God, humbly and lovingly abiding with me in self imposed vulnerability, and I had spent two whole hours, transfixed not by Him but by my problems. “Down in Adoration falling…” should have been my attitude, my gaze should have been fixed on Him; but, instead, I had once more been subtly caught in the snares of self.
Over the past two months, I have begun to glimpse a better way, a hidden way to deal with life’s pain and disappointments. Through grace, my understanding once dimmed by self-preoccupation has begun to grasp a powerful truth:
God, You are before me always, Your eyes are fixed on me but I often have my back to You: seeking answers, seeking freedom from the cross, seeking self. No wonder I thrash about blindly, fumbling over myself.
All answers, all peace are contained in this truth – You are there, entreating me in Your profound mercy to come to You.
You tenderly turn my face to You, commanding me in paternal fashion to look You in the eyes. “Let your eyes rest here,” You seem to say. “Do not fixate on your problems; but come up here. Sit upon My lap and receive My embrace. Worship Me and rest in the assurance that I am all You will ever need.
“Do not act like the Israelites who, after seeing over and over again My love for them, said, ‘Is it possible for God to prepare a table in the desert? It was He who struck the rock, water flowed and swept down in torrents. But can He also give us bread? Can He provide meat for His people?'” (Ps.78)
It is the same principle expounded on in the Gospel story of Peter walking on water. While his eyes were looking at Jesus, Peter walked on water, even in the raging waters; but the very second he averted his eyes and looked at the terror of the waves, he fell into the icy waters of doubt. God is inviting us to think on this, to realize that we are all Peters. The waves are the daily struggles all of us face. Some waves are huge, while others may merely rock us, making our step unsteady; but Christ does not seem to make any distinction in this story. If we look at Him, we can navigate any tempest and not be drowned.