We woke up to a beautiful snowy day here. As annoying as the thought of snow is in March, the view was stunning. Everything looked so pristine. This time of year is unpredictable. Life is like that too.
In today’s first reading from Genesis, Abram at the age of 99, is told by God Almighty that a covenant will stand between them, and Abram’s descendants will be exceedingly numerous. God tells him that he will be the ancestor of a multitude of nations and that he will have a new name–Abraham. Abram probably didn’t see that coming. We sometimes cannot wrap our heads around the plans that God has for us. How we receive the news has as much to do with the news as the news itself.
Abram may have had some difficulty processing the news and yet there he was having a chat with the God of the universe so maybe the whole experience seemed surreal or utterly spectacular. What do we do when we receive unbelievable news? We can embrace it–gosh the snow is pretty! We can shun it–ack! When will winter leave? We can get angry–dang snow! We can just let it be–ah, snow. I am sure there are a myriad of other reactions.
God makes a promise with us too–to be with us always. When we receive joyful news, God is there. When painful news arises, God is still there. I have felt God with me throughout my illness, sometimes, I have sought God more longingly than other times. I admit the experience has had its surreal moments. I think when I did my pilgrimage in 2014 I had a sense that I would be given a heavy cross to bear. From the beginning, the surgeon had been clear about my status so I have had time to digest that information, much like Abram, even though neither of us may have completely understood what we were being asked.
I am preparing to leave on a bit of another pilgrimage. I am having some difficulty making decisions about where and how to go. I have parts of the journey booked but not all of them. I get the sense that I am trying to do too much and so I may just have to pare down. I will not have the energy that I usually have and I want it to be prayerful, not frantic. I cannot predict how I will feel. I know that there are several places that I want to go to. The rest is flexible. Perhaps God is asking me to slow down and listen. I will be journeying post-Easter so hope to be filled with the joy of the Resurrection. I look forward to some alone time with God and the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before me. I bring with me all who have been praying with me this past year. I remain open to all that will unfold. God, who is leading me, will take the reigns.
Can you stand in the uncertainty of news with a trusting heart?
What is your go-to reaction to unbelievable news?
God, take the reigns from me. I want so much for life to be predictable and simple. May I surrender to your will in all I do. Grant me a trusting heart. Amen.