Have you ever prayed to Jesus for something for so long, so fervently, so repeatedly that you wonder if this effort is falling on deaf ears, yet you trust so much in the words of scripture (Trust in the Lord always, Proverbs 3:5) that you continue on, despite no visible signs that your prayers are being heard? Well, that is how I have felt during the past few years. I would write in my daily morning letter to Jesus, “I TRUST,” putting my emphatic words in all capitals so Jesus would be sure to see and hear me.
And then one day the God of surprises strikes again, and I start to get a little whiff that maybe, just maybe, just a smidge little bit, my prayers have been heard and I begin to ask myself, “Could an answer be lingering out there in the wings, just waiting for me to see and seize it?” This is how I have felt as of late and it’s all I can do to barely whisper a heartfelt yet thunderous from the bottom of my soul “thank you.” I find myself alternatively standing and kneeling in awe at the gift that has been laid out before me, seemingly custom designed according to my deepest groanings and longings. How can I respond in light of such glorious generosity of a God who has lovingly, patiently and earnestly listened to my heart and prayers?
No words, no amount of capital letters or exclamation marks will ever truly capture my gratitude - how could they? The work of God is inexplicable, beyond comprehension and so delightful to behold. So instead of fretting over how to properly thank Jesus, as if He were the King of England, requiring precise etiquette and protocol, I choose to say a simple thank you, over and over and over again, and let Him know by how I live my life how truly grateful I am to be basking in this moment of consolation.
Ellen Kelly is a spiritual director. She earned a MTS from The Jesuit School of Theology