6) How do you notice and identify the small things that shows you God’s love specifically to you? (such as what events occur that make you stop and think)
6. It’s a matter of being aware, and perhaps not looking too hard. There was a Friday when I woke up late, felt generally rotten, had zero inclination to do my Latin homework, and was of a mind to be a grouch, blow off class, and stay in bed while surfing the internet forever. However, after I had halfheartedly poked around online for about 15 minutes, I got the stubborn notion that I really needed to do my work. By that time it was too late to have made decent inroads into the translation and I was still feeling sluggish, but I instructed myself that I should at least check the class website. I did. It turns out that class that day was canceled. For some reason, not having to worry about class and homework that day was just the thing I needed to refresh myself and work on some other neglected tasks. Happily, I washed my dishes, did some laundry (two things which generally require desperation mixed with deep shame to get me to do), and went to the Newman Center. I went to daily Mass, had some conversations that were extremely beneficial, and even was able to go to Adoration. I was able to decompress, regain some balance, worship God, and feel much, much better. Was it coincidence that class was canceled that day? I don’t think so. I think God knew that I needed it very badly, and that it would bear wonderful fruit, which it did, so He arranged it.
Spiritual comfort comes from God. When I am quickmarching to class in the morning because everything went wrong and I am in a bad mood, and the crosswalk light that ALWAYS starts flashing when I am 15 feet away actually becomes a walking man right when I approach the curb so I don’t even have to slow down, I thank God for the little things He does for me, and I feel better. God loves us and isn’t above giving us small presents to cheer us up and strengthen us for the battle against sin and despair that is life. Just like a loving husband or dear friend will surprise us with little love notes in the dresser or unexpectedly picking up the tab at a nice restaurant, God bestows us with constant reminders of His care. When I am at Mass, and return to my pew after having received the Blessed Sacrament, I can feel His presence and glory within me, radiating out, and it feels like an embrace.
Sometimes we go through a difficult time or make a painful decision, and then are left wondering whether it was even the right thing to do, and it isn’t until afterwards that God covers our lives in sticky notes saying, “YES! This is why it was good to do it, this is what you have learned, this is how pleased I am that you carried out My will even though it was not easy.” After ending a relationship, maybe it’s easier to see why the other person was not good for you. After healing a rift in a relationship with a good friend, maybe you realize the good influence that person has on you. After not giving up on a job even though it is irritating, arduous, exhausting, or inconvenient, maybe you find that there are many insights you have learned about life and about yourself.
All that is good comes from God. It behooves us to be able to recognize what is truly good, and give Him thanks and praise.