"After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, 'Why has the Lord permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines' " —1 Samuel 4:2-3
When we suffer tragedy, it is good to ask God: "Why?" Then we must wait on ourselves to receive the Lord's revelation. The defeated Israelites asked the right question but didn't wait. They assumed that they wouldn't get an answer, so they proceeded to fight another battle in which "Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers" (1 Sm 4:10). If we don't stop and wait to hear God, we often make tragedies much worse. So don't just do something, sit there. "For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: by waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies. But this you did not wish" (Is 30:15).
When things are bad, we must not be stampeded into activity and decision-making. Even if we aren't good at hearing God, we have no acceptable alternative. If we act without hearing God, we are not under Jesus' lordship. Rather, we are doing our own thing. This is the very cause of our problems and repeats the pattern which has already brought about our downfall. We can't save ourselves. We must hear the Lord. He is faithful; He will break through our deafness. Stop and wait.
Prayer: Father, You are my only Hope and the only Hope I need.
Promise: "Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him, and said, 'I do will it. Be cured.' The leprosy left him then and there, and he was cured." Mk 1:41-42
Praise: Nick, a young adult, gave up a much-desired camping vacation in order to minister to a group of Catholic youth.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019
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