1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
Saul answered David, "Go! The LORD will be with you." (I Samuel 17: 37)
Reading the story of David and Goliath leaves me with just a little concern! A young man with a shepherd’s bag with five smooth stones and a sling shot, watching a huge, overpowering man, walking toward him, carrying a long sword, a spear and a short curved Oriental sword on his hip. There is no doubt that Goliath is intent on killing David. Saul is afraid for David. Saul tells him not to fight Goliath. David will be killed. David, however, does not run away. He is confident that God is on his side. Saul changes his mind: "Go! The Lord will be with you."
I wonder as we look backwards in our lives, whether you and I have sensed proof of God’s promise of being with us always. We all have had some challenges that were threatening us. But we made it. Looking back at the year 1991 and waking up in the intensive care unit after suffering a heart attack was a surprise for me. I was still alive. Since then it’s a rare night that I fall asleep without first thanking God for the present day in 2012 and all the good things that have happened. Life is a very real gift. There seems to be nothing trivial happening in the course of a day.
Interestingly enough there have been times, too, that my and your prayers were not answered. That’s where we find ourselves resisting our trust. What we are praying for seems to be the exact answer to what we are going through. Yet what proves to be the saving factor is to spend time with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. His plea to the Father was to ask that his impending death be spared. Yet Jesus put his life and his future in the hands of his heavenly Father, "Not my will but yours be done." It was Jesus’ conviction of the love of his Father that kept him focused. He would trust his heavenly Father.
Trust doesn’t always give us clear answers. Being rooted in love does keep us from wavering. It certainly brings peace. Are you able to trust? Can you and I put our life in the hands of God with no exceptions?
Fr. Peter Berendt, C.P. is on the staff of Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center, Houston, Texas.