1 Kings 10:1-10
The fame of Solomon having reached the queen of Sheba, she came to test him with difficult questions. She brought immense riches to Jerusalem with her, camels laden with spices, great quantities of gold, and precious stones. On coming to Solomon, she opened her mind freely to him; and Solomon had an answer for all her questions, not one of them was too obscure for the king to expound. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, the palace he had built, the food at his table, the accommodation for his officials, the organisation of his staff and the way they were dressed, his cup-bearers, and the holocausts he offered in the Temple of the Lord, it left her breathless, and she said to the king, ‘What I heard in my own country about you and your wisdom was true, then! Until I came and saw it with my own eyes I could not believe what they told me, but clearly they told me less than half: for wisdom and prosperity you surpass the report I heard. How happy your wives are! How happy are these servants of yours who wait on you always and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God who has granted you his favour, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s everlasting love for Israel, he has made you king to deal out law and justice.’ And she presented the king with a hundred and twenty talents of gold and great quantities of spices and precious stones; no such wealth of spices ever came again as those given to King Solomon by the queen of Sheba.
Jesus called the people to him and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean, because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.) And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’
And I did not believe them that told me, till I came myself, and saw with my own eyes…
The Queen of Saba (Sheba) speaks those words about King Solomon, and they are similar to the words of St. Thomas the Doubter about Jesus’ resurrection. Words that simply say, I DON’T TRUST until I can see it, hear it and touch it. These thoughts are similar to how I often live… not fully trusting. Apparently needing to SEE for myself, especially when I don’t see or hear God ‘doing something’…answering my righteous prayer…I am living without trusting in the Almighty. It is absence of faith
Just this morning, I was listening to a homily by Fr. Mike Schmitz, and he said, “We cannot underestimate what God is doing when it seems like God is doing nothing. Silence isn’t absence.”
The longer I live, the more I look back and see how OFTEN our Father was ‘there’ for me (and so many others), how He was indeed working towards my good in the moments when I didn’t see Him, didn’t hear Him and didn’t feel Him. It is so easy for my thoughts to wander into a mindset of believing that I must act, since He apparently isn’t doing something…anything. I must take this situation into my own hands and handle it. I must move things forward. I, I, I. I must be in control, in other words, I must take over since I can’t trust in His timing, in Him.
When I don’t rest in Him, rest in prayer, rest in WAITING on Him, and instead make a move and walk through a door that not only has He not opened, but He hasn’t led me to, I sin. I recently heard that NOT trusting in God always leads to sin. That not trusting in God leads to self-medicating. Always. As I contemplated this, I could see how this has always played out in my life. My prayer wasn’t being answered in the time frame and way I wanted it answered, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. God wasn’t ‘moving’ quickly enough for me, or in the direction I wanted. Time after time, I mistook His silence for abandonment. And I know better. I know that He has never, and will never leave me, yet I sometimes jump in (not near as much now as in my 20s, 30s 40s and even 50s – thank you, Lord, that I am learning to trust You more completely) thinking I have to do this, or do that. I want to believe that I am ‘waiting on Him’, but I am actually busying myself so that I feel productive. Doing the ‘right’ thing in front of others and not just waiting. I can even sometimes pretend I am being a ‘better’ Catholic by not bothering Him and actually helping Him out by taking control…which makes me laugh as I even write this!
Trusting in God without seeing, without hearing, without believing, that is peace. Fr. Richard Rohr wrote, “Faith and trust are choices, we do not simply ‘fall’ into them.” It would be so much easier if we just fell into trust, into faith, but God has given us free will. He has a better plan, and when we trust fully in Him, we have His peace.
(Today’s Oxygen by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are so in need of your constant love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. We desire to trust in you for all things, and yet we fail on a daily basis. Lord, help us to remember that You are trustworthy every second of our lives.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for your reminder that you are with us always. And that even when we don’t see, feel or hear you, we do see and hear and feel the works of your hands.