Know His ways
Forty years I endured that generation.Psalm 95:10-11
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”
The very simple thing God asks of us is to know His ways. He teaches us in the gentleness of Christ and all the Saints, especially His mother. To know His ways is to love them and trust them. It is to love and trust Him.
In a spectacular blog post, my friend Miss Marcel transcribes an awesome passage from the Autobiography of the Servant of God Marcel Van. St. Therese of Lisieux is speaking to Marcel from heaven. She tries to help her “little brother” understand the gentleness of God’s ways:
“I want to make use of an example here. When a daddy wishes to give his little child a kiss, of course he cannot remain standing up straight and lazily demand that his child heaves himself up to his lips to receive this kiss on his cheek. Could such a kiss be called an affectionate kiss? Evidently not! To give a kiss to his little one, it is understood that the daddy must bend down a lot, right to within reach of his face, or again, take the child in his arms. In both cases he must bend down.
“Have you understood, little brother? God is our loving Father. In order to show us His love, and to receive the love which we offer to Him, He has really wished to lower Himself to our level. For love, there is no difficulty in lowering oneself in this manner. The only problem, before which God appears to be powerless, is to notice our lack of love and confidence in Him. He sees Himself rejected in a totally unfair manner, yet He never rejects us.”Autobiography of Servant of God Macel Van
The only thing holding back God’s gentleness is our lack of love and confidence in Him. This is why He complains in Psalm 95 that the Israelites do not know His ways. If they do not know His ways, they do not trust Him. If they do not trust Him, He cannot work His miracles for them, miracles they so clearly need to survive.
We all must struggle against our lack of trust. Instead of accepting His gentle kisses of grace, we scream, go into defensive positions, and generally refuse His blessings.
He is a good Father and will not force His kisses on us. To receive the kisses we so desperately desire, we must learn His ways. We must trust Him, lower our defenses and smile, like good children. Then His blessings will be ours.
If we can trust God, if we can learn His ways, He promises wonderful blessings.
In vain is your earlier rising,Psalm 127:2
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat:
when He pours gifts on His beloved while they slumber.
Trust leads to rest, and to rest in God is the greatest happiness.