God is about to move me. I don’t know how or when, but I know He is. For forty days I have been afflicted, experiencing some of the greatest testing I have ever endured. God has been silent, but only in the audible sense. I have witnessed signal graces that have astounded me. Manna from heaven as I have walked the rocky, dirty and often times nearly impossible terrain. I have been blessed with the gift of the Eucharist that has continued to sustain me, and have eaten of Him as if my life depended on it, because it did.
We often times imagine that after taking Holy Communion there will be a sudden shift in our universe or a glorious miracle thereafter or we will feel differently. The body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ has been for me what I imagine the manna was for the Israelites; a necessary food to be able to endure the testing and affliction of God.
I have wondered during these last forty days whether the affliction would ever end. And this affliction is not in the context of the wrath of God, but instead his testing of me to know what was in my heart, a Father’s love for his daughter, a necessary discipline to bring me to the promised land. I have been far from perfect. I have complained along the journey’s way. I have cried out to God more times in the last forty days than in the last three years. I have given up hope. I have struggled with unbelief. The devil has tempted me more than once to go back to my Jewish home and to leave Christ. I have been afraid.
But all the while I had only momentary lapses of not walking forward. Those were precious times of prayer, some out loud, some through tears. Words are not necessary when crying out to God, He knows our innermost thoughts and the inside of our hearts. And even with those small pit-stops I have kept walking:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff comfort me.
Christ has not afflicted me because he doesn’t love me, he has afflicted me because he does. Many times I think we assume times of testing come from the evil one, when in fact it is God who allows the testing to see if we will continue on his path and allow ourselves to be transformed for His glory.
Otherwise, you might say in your heart, “It is my own power and the strength of my own hand that has got me this wealth.”
And I have fought my war with fervent prayer and a 54 day rosary novena. These are powerful weapons against the evil one. In every human that I asked for help, God said no, rely on me alone. God does not always want to explain himself through a human mouth.
As an encouragement to you my brothers and sisters, I want to tell you that I am still on the journey, yet I believe. I am not there but know that Christ is with me. Have not seen the promised land, but am declaring victory even as I remain afflicted. If you are on this road, know that you are not alone, God is with you.
There are some things we cannot change about ourselves; some things that must be changed in the wilderness. God is not silent , He is waiting to see how you will respond. Will you leave Him as others cry out to you, Where is your God now? Taunting you in the midst of darkness. Faith is not exercised in the midst of blessing, it is only present in the midst of sorrow, knowing the blessing will come.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.