Wednesday’s Word: Fickle

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Then [God’s] people believed his promises and sang praises to him. But they quickly forgot what he had done and acted without waiting for his advice.  Psalm 106: 12-13

 

At times we can be short on memory and even shorter on gratitude when it comes to remembering the good things we’ve received and those who gave them to us—especially when those good things come from God.

 

When I first read the story of Exodus as a child, I remember thinking, “Why don’t those Hebrews get it? God protected them from the plagues and got the Egyptians to set them free but they complained when they came to the Red Sea. He parted the Red Sea and destroyed their enemies, but they complained that they didn’t have water. God sent them water from a rock; then they complained they didn’t have food. He sent them quails and manna. Still, while Moses went up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments, they make a gold idol to worship. God is taking care of them. Why are they so dense? Those were my childhood thoughts.

 

When I was a young adult, struggling to find a spiritual path through some chaotic times in my life, my perspective changed. Then I understood why the Hebrews were so fickle, because I was just like them. After I came face to face with a challenge I had no hope of dealing with on my own, I abandoned myself and my problem to God. Somehow that crisis resolved itself. I was grateful, yes, but when the next challenge threatened me, did I remember that God had been my shelter and strength in the past? No. I panicked all over again. Why is this happening? What am I going to do? How will I manage? With nowhere else to turn, I prayed to God again. Again, I survived the crisis and found ways of coping.

 

With two saving experiences under my belt, you’d think I would have absolute faith in God when trouble hit again, right? Wrong. The same fears, questions, and doubts clouded over my faith. Again and again, I frantically grabbed at solutions I thought would do the trick, without waiting for God’s advice. Only after my attempted cures resulted in nothing, did I remember to pray. No matter what my head knew about God’s wisdom, love and power, the rest of me wasn’t so sure. Still, over time, I began seeking God’s help more quickly and putting matters in His hands without having to wait so long.

 

I have a quick forgetter, just like the Hebrews in the desert. When confronted with a problem, I tend to want answers and solutions right away. I’ve learned that although I may have those feelings, I don’t have to let them dominate my choices. I can practice surrendering to God’s plan and waiting for His guidance before jumping into any action just to feel like I’m doing something–anything–to solve the problem. My feelings may still be fickle, but they aren’t the whole story. I can choose to call to mind the ways God has cared for me in the past and remind myself of all the troubles God has already brought me through. That helps me trust that He is with me in whatever is facing me at the moment, too.

 

Prayer: Saving Lord, me mindful of Your blessings.

 

Reflection: What dangers or problems has God brought you through in your life? How can thanking Him increase your trust that He will be with you as you face new challenges?

2 Responses to Wednesday’s Word: Fickle

  • Lily says:

    Re: 5/28/14 word meditation: Fickle
    In our human weakness; broken vessels as we are – we become fickle. At one point, we can be spiritually-high; and in a split second, we fall. But the important thing is that we get up when we fall — and one priest commented that by being such, we become “saints in the making”. We go back to Him (look at Jesus on the cross; His arms outstretched waiting for us). Also,in our darkness, that’s when His graces fall on us in abundance – when we seek and ask.

    • bhosbach says:

      Thanks so much for sharing. It’s so true! We can never be good enough on our own, and we don’t have to be! When we are able to honestly acknowledge our shortcomings, that is exactly when we become open to His grace because we see how much we need Him, and as you say, there He is, waiting for us.

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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