Faith in the Giver of All Good Things
The contemplative author, Henri Nouwen, wrote that “When we live with hope we do not get tangled up with concerns for how our wishes will be fulfilled . . . our prayers are not directed toward the gift, but toward the one who gives it.”
Ultimately, Nouwen adds, it’s not about wishing for something to come true but of expressing unlimited trust in the giver of all good things.
The prayer of “little faith” makes us trust in the circumstances of the present so that we can gain a certain measure of security. The prayer of “little faith” has an immediate gratification in mind. When this prayer is not answered, there is disappointment and disintegration of our concept of God.
But the prayer of hope is different. For the prayer of hope, says Nouwen, “It is essential that there are no guarantees asked, no conditions posed, and no proofs demanded, only that you expect everything from the other without binding him. Hope is based on the premise that the other gives only what is good. Hope includes an openness by which you wait for the other to make his loving promise come true, even though you never know when, where or how this might happen.”
Prayer: Author of life and grace, we affirm our hope as openness to your promises, even though we never know when, where, or how these might happen. Amen.
1) What does the prayer of “little faith” look like to you?
2) What does the prayer of “hope” look like to you?
3) In what ways do you see God moving you from “little faith” to “hope” during this health crisis?
Henri J. M. Nouwen, With Open Hands (Bangalore, India: Asian Trading Corporation, 2009), p.68-73