Has someone ever told you to trust in the Divine Providence of God? When I first heard that from someone I had no clue what it even meant let alone how to trust in it. It finally clicked after many different explanations that God’s Divine Providence is the way He sets up situations, moments, interactions, and people to enter into your life just when you need them for God’s plan in your life to be fulfilled. Now, you have the ability to ignore that moment, to refuse His help, but this is a moment where God is physically entering into your life and taking care of you in real time.
To be honest, that just sounded like a bunch of old testament stories that don’t happen anymore. Sure, there were the miracles of manna raining from heaven to feed the Jews in the desert or Esther marrying the king just as he was going to be deceived into killing all of the Jews but those moments of divine intervention just don’t happen anymore. I believed that God could work miracles but they were ones that came from intense moments of prayer or through holy people specifically asking for something.
WoW, was I wrong…
This semester God has revealed to my heart that I’ve been putting Him into a box of the things that He can and cannot do. He can heal others but not me. He can take care of me and love me but that is more spiritually and emotionally not physically. And so much more.
Earlier in this semester I invited God to go deeper in my heart. I sat with Him for a while in prayer and invited Him to all the places I didn’t even know I’ve closed off to Him and gave Him permission to enter into all my wounds and doubts and heal them…
Warning: if you do this, God will follow through with His promise. Of all the moments of prayer I’ve ever experienced never has God followed through more clearly and more painfully.
This weekend God revealed my doubt in His ability to work concretely in my life and in His ability to take care of my physical needs. I had to privilege of travelling to Turin and Pollone following in the footsteps of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati to see where he lived, hiked, prayed, and even pray before his incorrupt body (which was covered sadly). It was amazing but all around a confusing experience. There is very very little information about making a Pier Giorgio Frassati pilgrimage online and the information that was there was scattered and incomplete. So much so that I plan on writing a blog post later this week for anyone who wants to do a pilgrimage to see my boy Pier Giorgio.
Getting to Pollone was a total whirlwind and incredibly confusing and when we finally got to the gate of where we were staying and realized that they didn’t speak any English we were a little freaked out about what to do. Conveniently – French was the only other language they spoke, which I just so happen to be pretty decent at. Once inside the house we found out there was no leaving for the rest of the night – that meant no dinner for us. As we were trying to figure out rationing our very very minimal snacks for tomorrow we just so happened to run into another group staying in the house… they were a French group of students. After chatting for a moment, they invited us to eat dinner with them and upon seeing out meal threw some more pasta into their pot. Not only did they feed us a full pasta dinner but we also got bread and cheese after that and then an amazing homemade chocolate lava cake. The whole thing was absolutely unreal and my friend and I were reeling about how lucky we were.
As we started the walk from Pollone to the Sanctuario di Oropia the next morning we realized about 30 minutes in that we made a mistake… instead of taking the 3km walk through the mountain we were walking the 10km way straight up hill that went around the mountain. We had no data, no clue how to speak any Italian to ask for help/directions, and we thought we were going to have to walk all the way back to where we started. Just as we were about to give up we flagged a random car for directions… it was the French group who invited us for dinner and they just so happened to have two extra seats in their car. It was in that moment that I knew everything happening on this trip wasn’t luck – it was our heavenly Father and Pier Giorgio Frassati taking care of us throughout the pilgrimage.
There were so many people on this trip who popped into our lives and took care of us, or could speak the right amount of English, or honestly just bring a smile to our faces when things were not going according to plan. In every single person I saw God’s love and I realized that this joy, this freedom in knowing we will be taken care of, that is what trusting in God’s divine providence means. And, this is a truth that we are all called to accept.
You may be struggling with financial problems, with a dream that seems impossible, lost on a pilgrimage, or just in need of a smile but in every single one of those moments God wants to take care of us. We could reject it out of false humility saying we don’t want to inconvenience someone or out of a desire to do it myself but by doing that we are rejecting God’s hand in our lives. We almost rejected the food because we felt bad inconveniencing that group but then we would have gone to sleep hungry and woke up and started the next day unsatisfied. We almost rejected the car ride because we wanted to hike to Oropia by ourselves because that is what Pier Giorgio did, but if we hadn’t accepted that ride who knows if we would have ever even made it!
I know this is one of my longer posts but this weekend has been such a revelation for me in how God desires to take care of us and we need to be humble enough to let Him! I wouldn’t have changed a single moment of this weekend – being more prepared, doing hike by ourselves, seeing more of Pollone – all of these things I thought I needed to see or do but if the weekend had gone perfectly then I would have never seen God’s hand so clearly in my life.
Ask God to help you trust in His divine providence today. Ask Him to show you His hand in your life and ask Him to take care of you. In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on… For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” There is so much more to reflect on in this passage but dang you get the point haha.
Trust in your good good Father who desires to take care of you.