Does God ever stop thinking about us?
I realize that from a human perspective we can sometimes wonder if God actually hears our prayers or if God knows and cares about us individually. Let’s stop and think about this for a moment. If God is truly God (as Christians understand God to be) then we are—without a doubt—constantly known and unconditionally loved. God sees and hears everything that we think, say and do. God never takes His focus off of us—not even for a nanosecond. It’s impossible. “Even all the hairs of your head are counted.” (Mt. 10:30)
Knowing this, does it mean that we no longer have problems and difficulties? Might we not have even more questions, for that matter? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does it sometimes seem that God does not answer our prayers?
Truly, we do not see as God sees. We are limited, finite beings. We are situated in time. We are not God.
What I have come to realize over many years is that I am called to trust in God, to have faith in God—completely. I do not have all the answers. I do not know the course of world events. I cannot see into the future. In fact, I am totally dependent on the Providence of God. It is the Grace of God that sustains me in all my endeavors.
Is this a cop-out? Am I naïve or overly simplistic? I don’t think so. In humility, I must realize all that we have been given (revelation) through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God became one of us. In Jesus, God became finite and tangible. Humans could see, touch and hear Him. The Almighty also became subject to suffering and death.
In fact, God the Father revealed essential, life-giving truth to us through His Son. He also sent His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us. From all this we can begin to see and appreciate how much God truly loves us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16) Jesus’ entire life and ultimate death on the cross was no accident but a divine statement of God’s self-giving love.
As humans, we are called to be mindful of God. Our limited intellectual capacity unfortunately does not think of God all the time. We forget quickly. We get easily distracted. We struggle with doubt. Nevertheless, remembering to pray and worship God on a regular basis—to have a routine, structured prayer life—benefits us tremendously in our quest to be faithful to God as God is ever-faithful to us. Stick with it, even when we do not perceive any tangible results.
I wish that I could give people all the answers that they desire concerning faith and trust in God. I too get frustrated when God seems to delay in responding to a prayer request. I do not understand why good people have to suffer.
Yet, I know that God sees and hears. I trust that God wants what is best for me, for all of us. "Trust God at all times, my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!" (Ps. 82:9)
I simply must continue to trust—completely.
Fr. Ed Namiotka