All of us have days when it seems like the world is collapsing in upon us, and we feel as if we can no longer continue to go on living as we have been.
The past five years of my life, I have experienced such days more and more often. In fact, it has come to the point where to have a day which is not bleak, difficult or overwhelming is indeed a rare blessing.
However, I have come to realize that, in general, our lives are never really as bad as we make them out to be. When we feel awful, it is usually because the devil gets inside our heads and makes a little grain of sand appear to be a gigantic mountain. Realizing that life is actually not as bad as we think, often really helps set us up and stabilize us for when we get emotionally challenged.
And emotions can be ever so hard to control!
Sometimes we are hungry and have no time to eat, and at other times we may be thirsty with nothing to drink. We may have to take care of things we wish to have nothing to do with. We may afflicted with physical ailments. We may be obliged to spend time with people we whom we can hardly bear the sight of. Perhaps someone close to us says something unkind to us, or does not want to listen to what we wish to tell them. At any rate, the smallest thing which does not go our way, often can make us extremely angry if we are not very careful.
This is the whole point of the devil’s plan. He wants us to be upset with those around us, and in turn make them distraught and eventually cause discord everywhere. When things do not go our way and we lose patience with others, and do not attempt to contain our emotions then he has already won half the battle. After this, he then tries to get us to react further and further, with only our emotions in mind, until he has complete reign over us.
All of us who wish to be virtuous try not to be angry, and we do not want to be a slave to our emotions. Yet, we cannot seem to control how we feel, and this lack of control often makes us even more of a nervous mess.
Only true humility will save us. For, it is only by acknowledging that we are weak that we will turn to God for help and support. And it is only through Him that we shall ever find the strength to make it through the trials this world presents to us.
We must also make a firm determination to do the will of God and that of our neighbor rather than our own; by controlling our emotions and by making daily sacrifices. This will build up our strength to fight against the devil and much more safely secure our eternal salvation. Sure, it will not be easy, and it will take time to develop this resilience, but it is the only way we will ever obtain true inner peace and happiness.
Something else I have discovered over the years is that I hardly ever know what is truly best for me. So many times I have been broken down sobbing and cried out to God, “Why did this have to happen to me?” Yet, a couple of years down the road, I always start to realize that God really had thought of everything, and that I could never have arranged anything better.
God knows what is best for us in every circumstance and at every moment, since He is omnipotent. He loves us more than our minds will ever understand. And because of this, He will surely give us all we need if we only trust in Him with confidence and resignation!
So, whenever we are overwhelmed and the world seems to be falling down upon you, take a deep breath, make the sign of the cross, keep fighting and do what Padre Pio often advised to those around him, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry!”