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Friday, September 5, 2014

All is Gift

"What do you possess that you have not received?" 1Cor 4:7

The poet Mary Oliver once wrote: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” (Thirst, 2006) St Paul admonishes us about this same truth when he reminds the Corinthians that everything we have, we have received from God.

It is easy enough to accept Paul's teaching when life is moving along smoothly, but more difficult when we face hardship or numbing life questions. Too often, when faced with painful feelings, we run. Though natural, we need to find ways to counter this tendency.

Another poet,  Francis Thompson, puts it eloquently in The Hound of Heaven :

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; 
I fled Him, down the arches of the years; 
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways 
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears 
I hid from Him.

How do we stop running? Can we learn to sit still, even in the midst of turmoil, to let God's plan for us unfold in God's time? Learning some form of meditation is always good, and can be especially helpful when everything in us wants to rush past or through or around life's struggles. Next time you are tempted to deny or suppress a difficult feeling, pray to remember that all is from God and all is gift.

Today, be grateful for whatever the day brings.

Has someone given you a box of darkness that became a gift/

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