This is a reflection from today's reading in the book Medjugorje Day by Day, by Richard J. Beyer. This is about persevering in faith, and I just felt like sharing it with you.
A missionary named Noreen Towers had worked for years among the poor in Nigeria. In spite of all her efforts, she saw absolutely no progress. She says: "I became despondent. I finally reached the breaking point one night. . . I was beaten. When I went to bed, I didn't know how I could continue." The next morning, shortly after she awoke, something strange happened to Noreen. It was as though Jesus himself said to her, "Can you not trust my plan for you?" She writes:
Then I realized that I did not have to see the plan; I only had to trust him. I arose from my bed a different person. My encounter with the living Christ changed me from a broken, defeated person into a person with unshakable hope and faith.
Today, the woman's work among the poor is bearing remarkable fruit.
Like all virtues, perseverance is a gift of grace, yet Christ never fails to bestow it on those who ask. This is the primary challenge-to rely not on our own strength and endurance, but on the Lord's. It was summarized once in a small prayer: "O Lord, I can't. You can. Please."
This short story really made an impact on me this morning, maybe because I, and maybe we, are always trying to do everything on our own; I know I do. I frustrate myself to no end, trying to get this done, make that right, please everybody, be the hero. It's still hard for me, real hard, to give up control of my life to God on a day to day basis. On a Sunday, or on retreat, it becomes easier to do, or at least to talk about it. I've got to learn to give that same love back to our Lord in the way of loss of self, in dying to Our God.
Those words are still ringing in my head: "Can you not trust my plan for you?"