FRIDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
Personally, I have always struggled with tests. I remember my overwhelming nervousness over state standardized testing and constantly questioning, “What if I don’t pass?” and “Will I have to repeat this grade again?” This annual testing was the nightmare of first through tenth grades with these plaguing questions repeating over and over in my head. I had the privilege to attend one of the best public high schools in the state, so why did I worry so much? Nonetheless, testing continues to bring about my fear of failure and my sense that I am not enough. The Book of Wisdom shares how can one not be fearful that “I am not enough” for God when it comes to my own time of judgment?
“With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.”
“Let us condemn him to a shameful death”
“…for their wickedness blinded them”
This is a question that I ask myself nearly every day. Perhaps it is words like, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” that serve as consolation and comfort for my fears. I hear over and over that “God will never give me more than I can handle” and that he seeks to strengthen me through my seemingly daunting challenges. However, when you fall far enough that you really believe that you are simply the brokenhearted that stands alone without God, fearful of the torture and shameful death that may one day ensue, what is to pick you up?
“I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
Jesus is of God and the Holy Spirit, but don’t we also know Him too? (God that is.) At the very least, it is our faith seeking journey to know Him. We are created in His image after all, right? In the Catholic faith our image of God is laid out as "God created man in his own image… Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is "in the image of God"; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created "male and female"; (IV) God established him in his friendship. (Catechism 355) It’s as simple as friendship but as grandiose as the tallest, largest, most beautiful mountain to ever exist. Friendship with our loving and gracious God, who sent his only son to save us; no wonder this testing and struggling to be enough seems constantly overwhelming. God loves us more than we can fathom, consistently shares His endless mercy and seeks to console us at our most vulnerable, if we just let Him. Yet it feels like a scale that is constantly weighed down my God’s unending love. How can we possibly prove to be enough in this divine friendship?
I by no means have an answer, but undoubtedly seek to understand my worth by seeking God’s perspective. In this Lenten season, may we have a chance to seek God’s viewpoint as he sent his only son to die for us. May we seek to view others with that same mercy and unconditional love as God does. May we seek to combat our own fears by simply relying on the friendship that God shares with us every day, whether we notice it or not.
Erin Twiehaus is the Campus Ministry PRAY intern.