5 July 2017
Sometimes it’s hard to know if we’re doing what God wants. Maybe there are issues at home or at work; maybe there’s a disagreement among friends (or enemies); maybe there are habits we’re trying to break, and we’re not too successful at it. Sometimes it feels like we have no idea what we’re doing: Is this what God wants? Is this not what God wants? Is this right? Is this wrong? “I don’t know,” we might say, “I’m just trying to live life the best I can.”
In our Scriptures today, God has a plan. He was making things happen through Abraham and Sarah, and he sent his Son to the Gentiles to bring them to himself. God has a plan; he has in mind what he’d like. But the people who have to help make that happen (Abraham, Sarah, and the Gentiles) aren’t necessarily in sync with what God wants. They’re doing their best; they’re doing what they know to be true and right. But it doesn’t always line up with God.
But God’s response to that isn’t to condemn them. His response is to be patient and to work with what he’s been given. Take, for example, the Gentiles who “begged Jesus to leave their district.” Now, that wasn’t quite the response God was hoping for, but he accepted it, and Jesus went away. But he came back later, through the ministry of Saint Peter and Paul and the Apostles. And the Gentiles came to know and accept Jesus.
But that happened because God is patient, and he takes our own personal decisions in stride. God is interested in the long-range vision, and he’s patient in helping his people get there. Like any good teacher, the Lord accepts us where we are, and he walks with us one little step at a time, with patience, with mercy and inspiration.
Sometimes it’s hard to know if we’re doing what God wants. But, really, all God asks is that we do the best we can. That’s all. The rest we leave in the hands of God, who is eternally patient and full of mercy and goodness.