Don't Test! Praise!
Have you ever made a promise to someone that if they do this one thing for you, you'll repay them? Maybe an example could be buying a used phone from someone, they give you a good price and guarantee it will work perfect. However, you get the phone, start using it, and it is slow, doesn't stay charged for even 9 hours and glitches out on you constantly. The vow of trust in this exchange has been compromised. They promised you a good phone in exchange for your money, and they didn't live up to their end of the exchange. How can we then compare our relationship with God?
I know I have personally asked God to fulfill a certain request and in return, I'd pray more, I'd get at a better routine of going to daily mass, spend more time in the community helping others. Sometimes it's easy to make promises to God, and not fulfill our end of the bargain. However, when something doesn't quite work out the way we want, we always blame God first, before realizing it was our own actions and intentions that led to certain circumstances, and no bargain could ever change that. God loves us so much that He gave His only son for us, in order to save us and bring us to the fullness of life. Why then do we put God to the test?
In today's Gospel we read: "The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, 'Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.' And he left them, and getting into the boat again he departed to the other side" (Mark 8:11-13). The Pharisees tested Jesus time and time again trying to get him to prove his worth, prove he was indeed from God. They could have chosen instead to embrace life, and listen to Jesus' teachings, learning from him. But instead, they spent their time testing him and asking for proof. When we ask God for a certain result, a certain outcome, we're testing. Instead, we need to thank God for what we have, that we're breathing and living today, and praise God for everything He's given. Let's not be testing, but instead, bring goodness to the relationship.
Today's prayer comes from 'Crosswalk', a prayer for growing in faith:
Dear Lord, help me - every single morning - to find faith in the midst of the chaos. Give me the desire and ability to see You, hear You, talk to You, and give thanks to You. And as I do, I pray that I will draw nearer and nearer to You, and that my faith will multiply exponentially as I understand in new, deeper ways that You are everything I ever hoped You would be. And so much more. Amen.