At That Time| Seeds of Hope 2022

At That Time| Seeds of Hope 2022

John 4:53

The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe.

This is a true story. Once upon a time, a man named Pat Molloy was trying his best to live his Christian faith. He was taking classes working toward completing a program in pastoral ministry.

He and his wife were raising their family of four kids. Pat was volunteering in various ways at his church and in the community. He was taking retreats and sometimes helping out by giving witness talks about his faith.

There came an event he was interested in attending at Notre Dame University. It was a day of worship bringing together people in the charismatic prayer movement. Along with thousands of other people, Pat went to that event some 30 years ago. They filled the Notre Dame football stadium. Something happened to him that day that etched the experience into his very being.

In the early afternoon, there was an activity presented entitled The Healing of Memories. Participants were instructed to think through their lives and to find memories that they were holding onto that produced resentment, sorrow, or anger. They prayed to release those memories so that they could move on in a healthy way for the rest of their lives.

A question asked was “Who do you need to forgive?” And “What’s a grudge that you are holding on to that needs to be healed?” Pat searched his memories and wasn’t coming up with anything. Then one thing surfaced. It was so small he almost didn’t think that it mattered. In fact, he couldn’t remember the details.

What he did remember was that when he was about 13 years old, his mother got word that he had done something wrong and she punished him for it. The thing was, Pat hadn’t done it. He was innocent, but still he was punished. Pat remembers now that “I looked guilty, and if I was a parent, I would have thought that I was guilty, too.”

During the healing service, when this memory came up, he thought to himself, “Oh, that’s an easy one…I forgive you mom.”

That was it. He forgave his mom. When he got back home and stopped in to see his mother later that week, his mother asked him, “Were you praying for me this weekend?”

Pat didn’t remember at first and said, “No, but why do you ask?”

“Well,” said his mother, “at about 1 p.m. on Sunday, I felt this tremendous burden be lifted from me. It felt like a millstone was taken off my neck.”

Pat realized that was the exact time he had forgiven his mother. Thirty years later the memory of that realization is still vivid. The power of God working in his life was wonderfully revealed in that instant.

“If a small matter like that can make such a difference, just imagine what forgiving something bigger can mean,” he said.

In our scripture selection today, timing matters. There is a royal official who is traveling and knows his son is very sick. He asks Jesus to save his son who he fears is going to die. Jesus tells the man that his son will live. The next day the man gets word from a servant that his son has recovered. This man learns that at the exact time Jesus said the boy would live, the boy recovered.

God’s timing is not always the same as our timing, but it certainly seems that in some instances, timing helps us to believe. This is something that most of us have experienced. It often comes in small ways, like someone is thinking about a loved one who recently died and had a strong affection for cardinals, and at just that moment, a cardinal flies over to the tree in front of that person.

Or there is an insight you have about how to get along with someone you are struggling to forgive, and suddenly you hear a church bell ring and it feels like confirmation. Many of us see these moments as God working in our life—helping us to believe in the divine Holy Presence.

God’s timing is always on schedule.

Now let’s take 30 seconds to water the seed…

Watering the Seed

When have you found God’s timing to be perfect?

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