Monday, May 11, 2015

Maturing through the Mundane

“In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
-Romans 8:28
Seldom do we feel like we are maturing in the Lord through the day-to-day of life. Rather than experiencing exhilaration from growing spiritually, we are completely unaware of making much progress. Instead we feel overwhelmed with our never-ending responsibilities and exhausted as we try to be faithful in our walk with God. At times we are irritated by the demands on our time and by the irksome people we are called to love.
Some days we seem to experience one trial after another: we do not get a moment’s rest. Although we cannot see what God is building in our lives, he is indeed at work. In his classic, The Sacrament of the Present Moment, Jean-Pierre de Caussade asserts: “It is in these afflictions, which succeed one another each moment, that God, veiled and obscured, reveals himself, mysteriously bestowing his grace in a manner quite unrecognized by the souls who feel only weakness in bearing their cross, distaste for performing their duty, and capable only of the most mediocre spiritual practices” (17).
In the midst of fulfilling our duty—which includes much that is mundane—we cannot see God’s providence nor feel his presence. Instead we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The hand of the Lord remains hidden in the circumstances that press in on us.
Nevertheless, we choose to hope in his promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Although we currently see nothing happening, we cling to God’s assurance that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character” (Roman 5:3-4).
Our obedience to God through fulfilling our obligations and our faithfulness in the mundane is sacred. Indeed, the present moment—no matter how challenging or dull—is sacramental. Our response to the duty before us is central to God’s plan to transform us.
“God’s order and his divine will, humbly obeyed by the faithful, accomplishes his divine purpose in [us] without [our] knowledge,” continues de Caussade, “in the same way as medicine obediently swallowed cures invalids who neither know nor care how” (42).
I want to be transformed! The deepest desire of my heart it to be made into the image of Christ. Toward that end, I am learning to embrace all that God brings into my life, counting the trials as “pure joy” (James 1:2). Although I can neither see nor feel God’s hand at work in the moment, I know he will accomplish his will in my life!
Quotes are from Jean-Pierre de Caussade, The Sacrament of the Present Moment, trans. Kitty Muggeridge (San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1989).

© 2015 Glenn E. Myers