Stand Your Ground
Stand Your Ground
Fear not! Stand your ground,…The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.” (Ex 14:13-4)
What do you do when trouble strikes? When your best-laid plans fall apart and you can see disaster on the horizon? Do you fall into despair? Wear yourself out with worrying? Or do you go to the other extreme? Do you work out a new plan? Take action? Do something?
Today, we hear how God freed the Israelites from oppression and slavery. They rejoiced when they left Egypt to follow Moses to the Promised Land, but when they turned to see Pharaoh and his army in hot pursuit, their joy turned to fear. Faced with danger, their first thought was to reject the freedom they had been given, saying, What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? – and their first reaction was fear. They had been freed by the awesome power of God, but not one of them even thought to turn to God for help. Surely they expected Moses, as their leader, to come up with some clever plan or at least to take up a defensive position to withstand the impending military assault. Instead, he rebukes them for their panic: Do not fear! Stand your ground … The Lord will fight for you, you have only to keep still!
Keep still? Who can keep still in the face of anxiety and distress and fear? Being still requires trust. It requires letting go and giving up control of our lives to God. But why do we find it so hard to trust God? Maybe we’re afraid that he won’t do what we want. A friend once said that the Lord’s Prayer frightens her because of the words “thy will be done.” She finds it hard to let go and give up control to God. Truthfully, she would prefer that “her will be done.”
We are surrounded by messages that are contrary to God’s call to trust in him. Media messages admonish us to take control of our own destiny, to set goals and be self-confident in meeting them. We are told that we have everything we need inside of us, and only need to rely on ourselves. In our secular world, it is blasphemy to even think about giving control of our lives to someone else – even to God.
The key to trusting in God is love. If we truly understood and believed in how deeply God loves us, we would find it easy to trust in him. How could he do anything other than what is best for us? Pray for God to deepen your awareness of his love for you. Your ability to trust him will come more easily and you can keep still and allow the Lord himself to fight for you. I invite you, throughout your day, to repeatedly invoke this short prayer: “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!”. Do it with sincerity of mind and heart and place your absolute trust in God’s merciful love.
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent-Vuong Nguyen
St. Clare of Assisi
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Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Monday, July 19 at 6:30AM