|Today’s gospel tells us over and over again to not be afraid. We are reassured that God is watching over each of us with vigilance.
As I reflect on the themes of fear, and God’s protection I find myself struggling. If we truly have faith that God is always watching over us, what is there to be afraid of?
July 13 is a date that will be forever engrained in my memory. It was the day my aunt died at the age of 34. She left a young husband and father of their two young sons. The boys were 5 and 3. She was battling breast cancer, but her death was unexpected. She succumbed to a pulmonary embolus which was attributed to the treatment for her cancer. This left a family and community devastated, and wondering why?
Why would a loving God put all those who loved her through such a loss? Many years later, I have concluded that he was protecting her. He was protecting her from enduring continued treatment that was very difficult and in the end would have most likely been futile. He was protecting her from becoming more handicapped—something very challenging for somebody who had been a very active mother of two lively boys. He was protecting her family from hanging on to hope for a miracle that wasn’t to be. He was protecting her family by giving one more to intercede for the many petitions and prayers to come. And as the ultimate protector, he sent an angel on earth to watch over her precious boys, and to provide relief for a shattered family which allowed all to heal.
One’s faith can be easily tested. It’s important to do whatever we have to in order to avoid fear and feel God’s loving protection. A wise woman suggested a gratitude journal. This has become a valuable tool for me personally. My gratitude journal allows me to make time for quiet reflection which leads me to focus on the graces in a situation that may be difficult. It has allowed me to avoid fear, and to be confident in the plan God has for me.