Mt. 19, 16-26
A rich young man approaches Christ with a question: which is a good deed he should do so that he could get eternal life. The Lord reminds him about Moses` commands along with rebuking him for trying to fawn over him, calling him gracious.
Christ, too, was thirsty for love and goodness and tender human words. He took sincere love to his heart, but He was very sensible about all human hypocrisy and flattery.
The young man told Christ that he keeps all the commandments of Moses` law since his childhood.
We can see at this example of his, and at the examples of ourselves, many of us, that as far as we deal with impersonal, indefinite deeds, all of us think of ourselves personally that we are all God`s righteous persons, just like this young man does. That is the way we speak about ourselves most of the time. But when it is about a real case, when you should stop and measure yourself, then we see that the borders of our righteousness do not reach too far.
So the young man, when Christ told him to sell all of his possession and distribute to the poor, and come after Him, became dejected and went away from Christ without saying good-bye. The borders of his goodness were very narrow and Lord reached them soon. Because it is easy to put your hand into the pocket, take out some change money and give it to someone in need. It is not easy – and therefore it is a real accomplishment – to give all and to sacrifice all.
The young man asks God about His will, but he is not ready to renounce his own will and submit it to God`s will.
Although it is very hard and impossible for us to rebel against divinity (Dap. 9, 5) we do that very often, trying in all possible ways to bring to life some of our ideas about ourselves or about our fellow-man. Many of us are ready to sell their soul even to the devil just to accomplish the goal. When we manage to do that somehow, we find out that the price is to high, and that all we did was in vain.
Therefore, all that is done should be done in accordance with God`s will. We all know well and feel what is God pleased by; what is in his will and what is not. To all of us God inserted conscious, the most sensible sensors that turn on right away and start ringing at the moment we break God`s will.
Our elders believed less to themselves, and they placed more trust in God and relied on His help.“Without God – not even over the threshold”, they were saying – and behaving that way. Along with that, they did not gave up fighting in a fatalistic manner, waiting for everything to fall down from heaven ready to use while they were lying and sleeping overnight. They always did their best and fought bravely for their bare lives –because they lived in such times – but in doing every step and in every battle, they called upon God`s help.
The man alone is a weak creature; with God, he is strong. If he succeeds to make accordance of his and of God`s will he has achieved absolute peace and great spiritual strength and nobody can do him any harm.”Place trust in Lord and do the good; (Ps. 37, 3) Commit your way to the Lord; (Ps. 37, 5) Rest in the Lord and wait”, (Ps. 37, 7) advises us wisely David the prophet.
Lord Jesus Christ gave us the best example of handing over into God`s hands one`s own life and will. Knowing all about the most difficult tortures and suffering that expect Him, Lord prays to His Father “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will”. (Mt. 26, 39)
When some problems befall onto us, we might want to avoid them – it is human –but we should never run away from our own invocations and, for the sake of our personal peace and calm life, to sacrifice God`s voice in ourselves. If we pray at all, we pray to our heavenly Father and invoke His will upon our lives. Let it be Your will – we say. Do we not look ridiculous and untruthful when we avoid to accept God`s will when it falls on us.
No matter how hard a man tries to avoid to drink the glass intended for him, it is a useless job. He cannot run away. “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker”, (Is. 45, 9) the prophet Isaiah says.
Often, we cannot know the meaning of our sufferings and what God intends to do with us. The holy apostle Paul asks us: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?” (Rom. 9, 20-21) Can a small child know why it should take a painful injection or: can it be understandable to a small child why it should undergo a serious surgical operation. His parents know all about that, and no matter how worried they are, they have to leave it to all those sufferings in order to save child`s life.
Whether we like it or not, we have to admit to ourselves that our rights are very restricted. Even our own life we got from God. And lives of our dear people came to us through God`s grace. Everything we possess is not oursWhen a man understands this, it is easier for him to accept everything that falls upon him. Like Job the Righteous, from whose destiny all of us can be taught and strengthened. And everything that happened to him: when bad luck took away all his wealth and when, eventually, took his own children from him and turned his wife against him, Job answers calmly:” Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job, 1, 20-21)
Is it not, really, like that? Who among us, when he emerges in this world, tiny and weak, brings with him a deed on happiness and wealth?
If we cannot see what the purpose and meaning of our suffering, God knows and whenever He wants He can reword our confidence in Him. So, He reworded Job during his earthly life.” And Job died, an old man and full of days.” (Job, 42, 17)
There is an educational and encouraging example of taking God`s will, which is given in The Holy Script, in the event that happened to the emperor David. I shall quote it here: It is said that “Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!” But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.
Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him” (2. Sam. 12, 15-24)
When we read this and think over it, we can see that the only wise thing to do is to accept God`s finger peacefully because any of our resistance is useless anyway. There are many of us who avoid punishments here. There are also some who do not wait for reword for their righteous life on earth. God often leaves both of this for His final judgment.
But if we think that we are righteous and we suffer, let us remember Peter`s way of thinking. He asks us: ”For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”(1, Peter 2, 20) Each of us, like the prophet Mihai, can say for himself:”I will bear the indignation of the Lord. Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness.” (Mih. 7, 9)
Let us give ourselves to God`s will as children give themselves to their parent`s mild will. And if it happens that sufferings come upon us, let us take that as a sign of God`s, parental, care for us. “For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3, 12) “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” (Ps. 103, 13)
And let us not be afraid, beside al things, we are not to be given more sufferings then we can bear. Even the wealthy young man would not be given more if he wanted to listen to God and follow Him.
For the sake of peace with ourselves and with God, let us take on us God`s will; let us entrust our souls in benefaction to Him, the faithful Creator, for the sake of our salvation.