Do you ever wish God would send an angel to tell you exactly what his plan for you is? I remember times during discernment where I literally begged for God just to be clear. I wanted him to come down with a loud voice and lay out my life map and then I would follow. Well, that’s what I thought I wanted. We always think we want the thing we seem to not receive, but do we?
Think about this story with St. Joseph. The angel appears to him and tells him everything he needs to know in a dream. I immediately want that, but then I sit and think about it and realize that even if God came that clearly I would still find a way to reason out of it. “Oh well maybe it was just a dream. Maybe I ate a weird food and didn’t sleep right. Maybe I was just thinking about that before bed and it was my mind playing tricks.”
The problem is not that God doesn’t speak clearly, I think more often than not the problem is that we don’t listen. I can think back through the years and most of the times I wanted God to speak clearly I can now see how he was. He was there through it all helping guide and direct me. In this busy world we live in it is hard to slow down and listen and be observant of all the ways God blesses us.
The other problem with God just coming and speaking directly to us is that it could quickly become a master/servant relationship. If I knew exactly what God wanted in every moment I would just blindly follow for the sake of following. When God allows me to act and make decisions and discern, he is allowing me to live out his will. To figure out in my own heart how much he actually cares and loves me. The servant who is bound to follow is less likely to truly care than the servant who realizes that following is the best option because the master truly cares.
I imagine there had to be some doubt in St. Joseph’s mind about everything that was happening. But he lived out the will of God. He struggled through the journey to egypt, he struggled being the only one who was ever wrong in his family, I’m sure he struggled with whether or not he was worthy of being the foster father of God himself. But he allowed God to slowly reveal his will day in and day out and made the choice to follow. He was faithful.
When we ask for the big God voice we can tend to miss how God is working here and now. Let’s all pray for the grace to follow even in the little and quiet moments. God came as a little baby and we should have a childlike trust. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at email@example.com.