"Lord, are You not concerned?" —Luke 10:40
God knows everything we need before we ask (Mt 6:8). Before a word is even on our tongue, God knows it (Ps 139:4). So God is certainly aware of the details and frustrations in our efforts to serve Him. Indeed, "He has been concerned about" our struggles (Dt 2:7). Many times in our struggles, God sends the help we need, gives us extra fortitude to bear our burdens of service, or assists us by lightening our load. So, if God hasn't come through by sending help, there are probable reasons for His "delay":
- God is calling someone to help us, and they are not yet ready or willing to help. In this case, we need to be patient and continue to serve Him diligently.
- God is allowing us to bear extra burdens for a reason known only to Him. In His wisdom, He finds it more important that we continue to persevere in carrying our cross than for our cross to be lightened (see Lk 9:23).
- God could be saying by His delay that He considers discipleship a higher priority than service to Him. For example, perhaps Jesus would have asked Mary to help Martha once He had finished talking to her.
Service to Jesus flows out of the discipleship relationship, not vice versa. Far better to first listen to Jesus and hear Him tell us how to serve Him than for us to simply start serving Him without first consulting Him. A soldier knows to first receive the order from his commanding officer, and then act. Likewise, as disciples of Jesus, we must lay our struggles and frustrations at His feet, listen for our orders, and then respond.
Prayer: Father, each morning open my ears to hear You (Is 50:4).
Promise: "He who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy." —Gal 1:23
Praise: Trying to conduct works of service bore only resentment in Maria's heart until she met Jesus and sat at His feet. Out of that love, her new sense of service flourished.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004