Our training and testing ground

That’s our life here on earth. God is still forming us to be what he wants us to be—his image and likeness, his adopted children meant to share in his very own life. Our creation is not yet finished. It’s still a work in progress. Considering how God is and how we are, his creation of us in eternity has to enter into the dynamic of time and space.

This is a truth of faith that should be clear in our minds so that we can do our part properly in God’s creation of us. In short, we can say that God is still training us as well as testing us because even if he is the one who solely creates us, he wants us to correspond properly to his designs for us.

That’s because we are not merely inert creatures or living creatures like the plants and animals that are incapable of knowingly and lovingly corresponding to their creation by God. We, on the other hand, being endowed by God with intelligence and will and freely given his grace, have to also want what God wants us to be. We have a role to play in making ourselves God’s image and likeness.

We need to realize then that every event and circumstance in our life is an element in God’s creation of us to which we have to correspond. That is how we should see everything in our life. That is the proper context. We should not regard them only in temporal and worldly terms. We can even say that everything is meant to be an encounter with God. We should try never to miss that reality.

So, no matter how things are in a given moment, whether we consider them as good or bad, a success or a defeat, something that gives us joy or one that causes sadness, etc., we should realize that God is still intervening in our lives and is expecting us to relate ourselves with him.

He will always be with us, a truth that we are often reminded of especially in the Holy Mass when the celebrant addresses us many times, “The Lord be with you!” Being our creator he can never disappear from us, for he is the very keeper of our existence. We may do wrong, we may disobey and rebel against him, but for as long as we exist, God is always with us.

Thus, to ask where God is, especially in moments when we are severely tested, can only show ignorance of a very basic truth about ourselves. I remember St. Augustine saying, “to know where God is may be difficult, but to know where he is not is even more difficult.” We have to overcome that ignorance, studying the doctrine of our faith, and developing a working life of piety.

It might be a good practice that often during the day, we pause and ask ourselves, “Lord, what do you want me to do now?” “How should I react to this particular item?” etc. Even if we do not get a clear and immediate answer, we know that by asking these questions we would be given some light.

Let’s remember always that God is not only a Creator. He is also a Father who loves us no end. He will never fail us. It’s us who can fail our own selves!*

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