Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Freedom and Suffering

I think I am drawing closer to acceptance. I was reflecting today on what it means to be free. For if God has given us our freedom, it means we are responsible for our choices. We are not puppets, moved about by an omnipotent God, chess pieces on the board of the universe. We are free, autonomous creatures, who can only do good through obedience to His way.

So it's wrong for me to expect that God will do anything to change this situation. He can't perform miracles in the absence of faith, because to do so would be going against the will of the individual person. God created us with a will, and He honors that will. Someone who does not want to be healed will not be healed. Someone who does not want to be changed will not be changed.

God has provided me with everything I need, including sisters in Christ (both online and in real life) to give me with strength, example, advice, and support. He has given me Himself, ever present in the Holy Eucharist, and a Church family that is among the best in the country, if not the world. He has given me wealth and other resources that I can use to educate myself and purchase assistance (babysitters, parenting courses, occasional massages) to make it through this rough patch. And He has given me faith, which puts me far ahead of others suffering this kind of challenge.

With the freedom we are given, we can choose to be petty and inflict pain on others, to stand by and watch as they suffer, or to turn away and ignore their plight. But God does not want us to make those choices. He wants us to use our freedom to willingly forgive others the debts they owe us, to reach out to those who are suffering and hep them, to stand with those who are vulnerable and weak.

It's often not easy to choose good. We fall away so easily and have to expend great effort to climb back up to where we want to be. That is where God helps us: on the path to goodness. That is His promise, that He will not forsake us.

"...since my mother bore me you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help." Ps 22:10-11

But even if you suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. 1 Peter 3:14