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The Consolations of God in the Midst of Doubt


consolations2Have you ever been in the midst of great self-doubt and confusion when it comes to an important life decision?  Of course you have!  Most of us question our motives and decisions at these critical times.  It is probably a good thing that we question and distrust ourselves with such decisions.  According to the great St. Paul, we should “test everything and retain what is good” (1 Thess 5:21).  So how do you test everything?  You pray and ask God for guidance and direction then you…wait.  It is the waiting that is often the key with any discernment of the right decision for you.

God is constantly speaking to His people.  We must ask for wisdom to know the will of God, but equally as important as asking for His guidance is our attention to the ways in which He is responding to us.  How does God speak to you?  For many years, God used to get my attention through movies and songs.  Since I spent much time with those activities, God saw fit to tune my frequency to Him through that mode of communication.   Amidst the many messages I was receiving through the films I chose to watch and lyrics that I fancied, God had a word for me.    Lately though, God is speaking to me through His words in Sacred Scripture.  In truth, if we want to know God’s will for our lives, we need look no further than the Holy Bible.  It is God’s love letter and he speaks to us through it daily.  All answers to life’s circumstances are contained within that sacred book.

I remember when I was a young adult and I was starting to look to God  for answers to my pain.  I had a Good News bible and a sheet of paper which read “Bible verses for all life’s situations.”  Back then, there was no Google search to take me to my exact dilemma and emotional angst for answers.  I read that paper and I went to the verses that most spoke to me.  The words I found gave me great comfort and strength.  I recall the book of Sirach offering me much to ponder in that regard.  I went back to those consoling words often before I would close my eyes for the night.  God’s word was penetrating my being at a young age and at a critical time in my emotional development.  I didn’t know how much God would truly penetrate my soul then, but God had more to offer me in His Holy Word.  I just had to mature spiritually, stop playing Bible Bingo and set my mind to reading His full love letter which I did about 10 years later.

Now, 20 years removed from that time in my life, God is still speaking to me.  He has much to say to me these days!  His daily words offered to us through the readings at Mass are the first place I start.  Not surprisingly, there is usually a nugget which I can grab hold of either in the first or 2nd readings, Psalms or Gospel daily.  Lately, I have been getting much from the Psalms in morning and evening prayer.  I highly recommend all readers of this blog to subscribe or buy a monthly MagnificatThis little gem will enhance your spiritual life in ways like you have never imagined. consolations1 

Regardless of your life’s circumstances, God wants to speak to you.  In good or bad times, God has much to say and offer us in our journey.  Give it a try!  Crack open that Bible which has been sitting on that shelf for years.  Dust it off and discover the hope and solace found when we read the many stories of the prophets, saints and the life of Christ.  Pick a story which speaks to you and read it often.  On this the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist, perhaps a reading of his life is appropriate.  If you need a little help, go to the New Testament and open up the Gospel of Matthew…enjoy the many consolations!

In Christ’s healing love,

Mark Houck