In sifting through all the junk (i.e. all the random lists I subscribe to and daily emails I receive that are automatically generated) in my gmail this morning, I came across a forward from my dear Aunt Linda and I nearly had to fight back the tears as I read each word. (I was sitting at my desk at work and flagrant displays of emotion in the workplace are typically frowned upon.)
Be that as it may, the topic was a timely one--the mysteries of God's will and omnipotence. I could not help but share it with you, dear reader, in the event that it might bless you in the same way it did me this Tuesday morning. Here it is:
268 Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it "is made perfect in weakness."
He does whatever he pleases
269 The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the "Mighty One of Jacob", the "LORD of hosts", the "strong and mighty" one. If God is almighty "in heaven and on earth," it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: "It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?"
You are merciful to all, for you can do all things
270 God is the Father Almighty, whose fatherhood and power shed light on one another: God reveals his fatherly omnipotence by the way he takes care of our needs; by the filial adoption that he gives us ("I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty"): finally by his infinite mercy, for he displays his power at its height by freely forgiving sins.
271 God's almighty power is in no way arbitrary: "In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God's power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect."
The mystery of God's apparent powerlessness
272 Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus "the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." It is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth "the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe."
273 Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God's almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ's power. The Virgin Mary is the supreme model of this faith, for she believed that "nothing will be impossible with God", and was able to magnify the Lord: "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."
274 "Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe — even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature."
You see, here's the thing -- I do not know one single person on planet earth (faithful or not) who doesn't struggle with some aspect of God's will. I think C.S. Lewis says it best (at least when describing my particular struggle):
"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
I consistently repeat (almost in a mantra-like fashion), "Lord I trust you, Lord I trust you"...and then subsequently plead that He would help my unbelief. I fail daily in submitting to His will. In my finite human mind, I think I see the most desirable scenario very clearly and when this does not come to fruition, I immediately have "words with God." We have been having a lot of "words" lately and I can only imagine that He, like a doting father to a small child, strokes my head and finds my immaturity/lack of knowledge to be endearing and how, if I had His wisdom, I would certainly not say such silly things. And yet, He loves me anyway and is patient while I learn to trust Him. But, oh, how far I have to go...