Relax in the Lord

Is 55:10-11 / Mt 6:7-15

If someone were to ask us what God is like, most of us would speak in terms of a very dear Father who loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us. And we’d be right. But if that same person were to listen to our prayers, he might wonder if we were talking to the same God.

Many of us pray as if God had been absent for quite awhile and needed to be brought up to date. Many of us also pray as if God were a miser or a hard-nosed policeman, who doesn’t much like us, who doesn’t really want to forgive us, and who certainly doesn’t want to give us what we need. So, as Jesus says in the gospel, we rattle on, we beg, plead, and implore, and we even resort to bribery: “Lord, if you’ll let me win this game, I’ll go to Mass every day for a month,” and so on. We project our own smallness and neediness on God, we shrink God down to our size, and then we try to manipulate Him! What an illusion and what waste of time!

God already wants what’s best for us, and He’s long since promised to give us what we need — not necessarily what we want, but what we need! Our task in prayer is to trust that basic fact and to open our minds and hearts to God’s way of seeing things. God’s mind doesn’t need changing. Our minds and hearts do. They need to be reshaped into God’s likeness.

So relax in the Lord. Trust His love for you, and let Him reshape your heart. Real contentment will be your reward.