We have all been given a measure of faith.Romans 12:3
Earlier this year, I welcomed the invitation to be still and to ponder as the Holy Mother did throughout her life. I am happily Catholic. I am not a perfect Catholic. I am not conservatively one either. And, I will not dare say I am most devout. I am not. But I love my relationship with God, whom I have come to know in this faith. I don’t always read the bible either. But I know it is a well of inspiration and guidance. I know that my faith comes from God. I believe and trust in Him regardless of the struggles, circumstances and influences around me.
I will not say trusting and surrendering is easy. Often enough, I find my struggles, circumstances and influences hard to understand. But I believe it brings me closer to God. He speaks through them, sometimes seemingly like putting a joke on me. We only joke heavily on those we have close ties with. It reassures me that God looks at me fondly regardless of my faults and limitations.
This invitation is a coin with two sides. On one side is stillness, and to ponder on the other. Yes, the invitation to stillness comes along with an invitation to ponder.
But how is it to ponder…
1) To ponder is to stop worrying.
God invites us to cast our burdens upon Him (Psalms 55:22)
We were not created to worry and be anxious. The Lord wants us to be at peace.
We all know that worrying does not solve our problems. It only drains us of more energy. It eats up our enthusiasm and vivre. It is befitting to cast our burdens to Him who knows better. He not only cares for us. He is far better at handling the weight of our problems. He also reminds us that He will not abandon us in the midst of our struggles. He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
2) To ponder is to learn to depend on God for everything.
Society has placed much focus on our independence that it has become a habit to depend on ourselves. It has placed focus on looking at external representation of our independence and power, we run to our jobs, our friends, our money. We run to everything that will seem to say we have it all taken care of. But we seldom get down and let God.
To ponder and depend on God means developing the habit of making God our priority, not an after-thought. It encourages us to talk to Him about what we need at the very moment we need it and trust Him to provide an answer.
3) To ponder is to give thanks.
“In all things, give thanks” (1 Thes. 5:18)
We can always find something to be grateful for. The things we miss being thankful for are often thing wished for by someone else. Sometimes they represent something else that we should be more delighted with. Like, having dirty and sticky floors in our homes mean children played and spilled on the floor. Our children are greater things to be pleased with. Some barren couple wants those messy children and could not have them. Let’s consciously give thanks even for trials and disappointments because you never know what blessings such things as this can bring too.
4) To ponder is to practice patience.
Patience builds faith. We now live in a world where we expect to be instantly gratified. Most things are literally at the tip of our fingers and just a few swipes away. Very few of us exercise enough patience. I, myself, have too little at times. Consequently, we expect that answers to our prayers should also come in a snap. But God is not bound by time. His time is not the same as ours. God answers our prayers in a way that is best for us, at the time that He knows is best for us too. It is not easy but we need to move into believing that God is working even though it may seem like the answers come very slowly. Think of it as God working to change us from the inside. That takes time (because we can get very stubborn!). So, patience comes handy. Trust that He will reveal the answers to prayer you so anxiously seek.
5) To ponder is to learn to listen to His voice.
“Be still”, He says, “and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).
Silence is a rare commodity, our lives are frantically hectic, noisy and challenging. We must intentionally choose to make time to listen to His voice. It is in moments of prayerful stillness and meditation that our hearts are refreshed and fortified. Like batteries recharged when drained, so our hearts need prayerful stillness and meditation. It is with renewed faith, that we are ready to move forward.
6) To ponder is to look for the lessons that the God wants us to learn.
Our Creator is the beginning and source; as is the finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2)
They say our life here on earth is a path to learning and the challenges we experience are lessons. God will only lead us into those experiences that will increase our faith. They also say that circumstances will keep repeating itself until we have learned the lesson. Our faith increases as we acknowledge these lessons and grow from them. Each time you pass one test God will lovingly but certainly bring you to the next until we are perfected in grace.
7) To ponder is claim God’s promises.
Unlike us, God keeps promises. God acknowledges His commitments. All we have to do is claim them
It is not easy to keep sill…more difficult to ponder and rest in the belief that all will be taken care of rightfully. It is a leap oof faith to surrender after you have done everything you can. But c’est la vie; we work, we pray we believe.
Hands down now…moving on.