Will you allow God to shape and form you?

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ever wish life were simple, everything worked out, there was no pain, no suffering? Do you think if you had no pain and suffering you would be the person you are today?

So often I wish God would take away all my pain and suffering, just put me in a bubble and protect me from all inflictions. If only each piece of sin and suffering would bounce off the wall of the bubble and I can watch in peace. When I sit and dream of such a beautiful, perfect life with no heart ache, no unhappy tears, I’m reminded of all that I have gained in the midst of pain and suffering. If I had not suffered pain and inflictions, I may not have the relationship I have with God. It is through these trials that I have grown the most in my faith and relationship with God. It’s in these moments that I cry out to God and seek His love and guidance the most. It’s in these moments that I learn to trust God more and more because I know there is much more greatness God has in store for me.

As a parent, I am always wanting to place my girls in a bubble, protect them from all things in the world that can inflict pain, hurt, heart ache. But being a parent, I also know that putting my kids in a bubble and not letting them experience these things is not good for them. In order for them to grow, I have to step back sometimes and give them space to experience situations.

God does the same for us in so many ways. He knows what we need and He allows us to go through these moments so that the happiness He designed for us through love for Him is pruned and blooms.

What masterpiece can be created when you fire up a slab of metal and mold and shape it? What can you create when you twirl around a piece of clay, guiding its formation? Is God not the artist and the potter? Will you let Him shape and form you today through your pain and suffering, because you are His perfect work of art?

God Always Wins

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Have you felt like you have been losing a battle lately in life?  Perhaps you feel like you are losing a battle against an illness?  May be, your spouse, a family member or a friend has been very bitter, controlling, or abusive and you feel you are losing the battle?  May be your finances are deep in the red and you feel you can never reach the green?  Are you fighting the battle alone or are you asking God to fight it for you?

One evening, my daughter was reading me a story called “The Weight of a Mass”.  In the story, an old lady asks a prestigious baker for crumbs of bread and tells him she will offer a Mass for him.  Cocky and rude, he asks her how much bread he would owe her.  He proceeds to place a piece of paper with the words “one Mass” written on it on one side of the balance and on the other he places a slice of old bread.  The side with the piece of paper never rises.  He continues to place more and more on the opposite side of the paper, pastries and chocolates, with the same results.  The scale never budged.  As my daughter begins to read about his challenge of the weight of “one Mass”, she says “God always wins”.

“God always wins!”  I thought about that for some time afterwards.  I evaluated my own past and could see so many instances where I tried to fight the battle alone and couldn’t keep my head above water.  In some of these moments, I even hindered God as he tried to work in me, resisting any help he would give me.  When I looked through the rearview mirror of my past and saw the moments that I called out to God in prayer and asked him to fight for me, those battles bore fruit, polished a gem.  They didn’t always come without a struggle or pain but they were victorious battles.

No matter what is going on in your life, if you are open to receiving God into your circumstance, he will always win.  Sometimes the outcome may not be what you intended or thought was best, but later when you look back you will realize that it was the perfect solution in your life.  Trust in his plans and be open to whatever they may be.  Let him win the battle for you, because “God always wins”.