“Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.” -Acts 18:9
Every now and then, I sometimes find myself asking the old question, “What am I doing with my life?” Not in the sense that I have no direction, but rather, I ask this question in light of God’s plan for me. The Lord has a plan for each of us, but it is up to us to carry it through to fruition. We see in the first reading today, that despite the hardships he faced in Corinth, Paul remained for some time preaching the Word of God because that was part of God’s plan for him. I think we can all look at Saint Paul and wish that sometimes the Lord would be as direct with us in making his plan known, but at the same time, there is something truly beautiful in discovering the plan for our own lives.
Looking back over the years in my life, I can see how beautifully and intricately God has woven the various events together to bring me to where I am today. The best ones, of course, are those of suffering, which at the time I thought nothing good could ever come of, only to discover now what an abundance of grace I have gained through them. They say hindsight is 20/20, but how often do we think about the fact that God’s foresight is also 20/20? He did not haphazardly throw us into existence only to let us fumble about as we try to get from point A (birth) to point B (heaven). Rather, each moment of our lives has been carefully and lovingly shaped by God, stuffed full of grace (sometimes obvious, and sometimes not) for us to grow from. When we put our faith in the Lord, when we follow his commands and heed his word, “Do not be afraid…I am with you,” we are doing his will for us.
So today, let us take a moment of prayer to reflect on these words, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus is with us at every moment, even in the toughest of situations. When we put our complete trust in the Lord, when we truly strive to follow his teachings, given to us by the Church, we are living out God’s plan for our lives.