Watching Over Us
by Jeff Montgomery
One of the scarier aspects for me of being a Christian is the fact that God sees everything we do and knows everything we think. That can also be a comforting thought, knowing that God is always watching over us, but at times there are things I've done or thoughts I've had that I wish God didn't know about. (By the way, I'm not talking about any big dysfunctional thing here, just the usual slips and stumbles that we all experience.)
Sometimes we hide certain actions and thoughts from our friends and family because we know that we've slipped up and done something wrong or haven't lived up to what they expect from us. So we shove those things off into a little corner and hope nobody finds out.
But God knows.
In 2 Chronicles 16:9 we see that "The eyes of the LORD roam over the whole earth, to encourage those who are devoted to him wholeheartedly." The first part of that passage tells us that God sees everything - his eyes roam the entire earth, watching the activities of His creation. He created us in His image, and we are His beloved people, so God is interested in what we're up to.
That includes those little things we wish would never see the light of day. Fortunately, as Catholics, we can clear out those dark spots in our lives by a visit to the Confessional. God gives us that resource for redemption.
But it also includes those things that we do well, where we are the embodiment of God's glory. As the scripture states he watches over us, "to encourage those who are devoted to Him wholeheartedly". This includes those times when we stumble. If we are earnestly and faithfully trying to follow God's way, he gives us the chance to redeem ourselves.
The real question is how to follow God's way in everything that we do. And the answer to the question is to follow Jesus' way. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us that He is the Way. He is the way to truth and salvation, and the way to everlasting life.
For us, following this way means to have Jesus present in everything we say and do. The Holy Spirit should be evident in all of our behavior and actions. Each day we are given multiple opportunities to put our faith into action - with family, with coworkers, in how we do our work and carry out our duties. God is watching all of it. He wants to see how we react to these situations - do we handle them in a charitable and Christian way, or are we short tempered and surly? Do we take the time to do a job right, or do we rush through it without giving our best effort?
We won't get it right every time. The tendency to sin is in every one of us, and from time to time we will stumble. But we have to take those steps along with Jesus.
By living in this manner, we fulfill our own accountability. As Jesus said to Pontius Pilate "You would not have any authority over me were it not given from above." All of us have some earthly authority under which we live. We are all accountable to someone for everything we do. Ultimately, since God puts these people in our lives, we are accountable to Him.
By fulfilling that accountability we are fulfilling our mission here on earth. Having the Holy Spirit present in our activities gives us the strength and perseverance to continue doing our duties, no matter how difficult or lengthy they may be.
When we work this way, we may receive recognition and accolades, and sometimes we won't. Unfortunately, things don't always work out fairly. We can let this cripple us, or we can realize that every test God gives us build us and strengthens us for our journey to Heaven. By carrying out our work, even if no one seems to recognize what we're doing, we are fulfilling the tasks given us by God.
And even when it seems like no one notices or cares about what we're doing, God is always watching. He cares about what we do, and wants us to do it well. If we don't God will correct us.
If we are faithfully going about our work, God will reward us. We may never see that reward until we get to Heaven, but because He is watching, He'll know that we've been a good and faithful servant.
E-mail this article to a friend