Beloved, I hope you are prospering in every respect and are in good health, just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2
Little by little! That’s the progress that works well but it’s usually the last pace we want. We’re more of a big and now kind of culture. Sometimes I am a little embarrassed before God about the way I do things. Once I decide something should happen I shift into right now, all or nothing mode and tell God he’s in charge. When the process flops I wonder why he wasn’t listening and leading. Lately I’ve been wondering how many times he’s gently tugged me in the direction of his plan and I’ve missed the invitation to go sweetly, gently and peacefully in that new direction.
My new word, obedience has opened my eyes to lots of stuff in the past two weeks! I wish I could write about how inspired I’ve been to act obediently with a joyful heart but my mother taught me not to lie! It’s been kind of a fighting tooth and nail ordeal some days and I’m not even half way through the first month! January 1st I hit the ground ready to submit, abandoning my will to his…completely in all or nothing mode. I felt like the first ten days of the month were one battle after another and I was left with zero peace! I sat in prayer Friday morning completely frustrated and wondering what I was doing wrong. Since Friday was a snow day I had extra time to sit in my prayer chair and read. Through some random page flipping in several books it became very clear that my journey with this word is a little by little thing. I wanted to please him with everything; I think he’s asking me for one at a time. I’m completely convinced that the first is my pride and the second is my health. I asked him to help me be sure I understood him correctly…and he did!
I was reminded again and again the next two days that the only person I need to be important to is him. The only person I need to please is him. The only recognition I need is from him. It was message after message like rapid fire texting from the Father. The exclamation point at the end of the sentence was contained in a little snippet I came across about Blessed Marie Ann Blondin. She was the daughter of a poor farmer who eventually became a nun, learned to read and write, became a teacher, principal and founder of an order of nuns whose mission was to educate poor children. He work led to an order that was growing, thriving and serving. A new Chaplin with a desire to exert great control left her removed from her position as superior and sent to complete the most obscure tasks possible. When a young sister asked her why she had been assigned to such lowly work she told her, “The deeper a tree sinks its roots into the soil the greater are its chances of growing and producing fruit.” (Give Us This Day pg 37) I found those pretty powerful words. We spend lots of minutes trying to climb the ladder, get ahead and get our due when the greatest power is getting lower. It was also interesting to discover that this holy woman died on January 2nd; my birthday. Ok God…I got it; thank you for the clarity!
At Mass Friday morning I promised God I would live a healthful day if he would help me. I had volunteered to make 9 dozen cookies for a fundraiser so I promised God as a complete act of obedient love I wouldn’t nibble the dough or eat any of the warm gooey deliciousness…YIKES! On my drive home from Mass with windy snow blowing I saw a faint rainbow among the clouds and immediately the words “I promised too” popped into my head. I got home smiling and realized I didn’t even need to make those cookies until next weekend! As if that wasn’t enough, I went grocery shopping and as I stood reading labels on products I was certain wouldn’t taste nearly as yummy as the unhealthy versions I was stunned to find in the bottom corner of a label a small Christian fish symbol that said 3 John 2. Those are the words I used as the verse for today’s post. I was stunned! God saying to me, through St. John on a salad dressing bottle, “I hope you are in good health.” Pretty clear message once again! Scripture and salad dressing…who would have thought!
Not only is God calling me to be obedient, he’s helping me little by little every step of the way and I’m amazed at his love and goodness! So here’s to God’s help through Blessed Marie Ann, rainbows, wrong dates, salad dressing and a letter from St. John. Little by little God, please keep ‘em comin and keep me recognizing the help!
A Seed To Plant: Think of something you are truly struggling with then ask God for very specific help with that struggle. Stay alert and be prepared to accept his help as he draws you closer to him little by little. Don’t forget to share the story!
Blessings on your day!