This morning, I attended a meditation and heard some words I needed to hear. The words, which my yoga teacher read, were from Swami Satchidinanda. Since I don’t have the text, I’ll paraphrase. The basic idea was God is always there.
Things often seem mysterious, and the meaning of life eludes us. We question why we’re here or how a merciful God would allow suffering or obscure the solutions to our problems.
Yet we see others who have tremendous faith, even when they don’t understand why some things seem so bleak. (They also practice gratitude and experience joy, but that’s another topic.)
God is Always There
Swami Satchidananda explains that devotion gradually progresses to higher levels. We don’t earn a deeper understanding of God with effort. No matter how hard we try or want it, the truth is, we may just not be ready.
In prayer (or in trying to understand God or decide if we believe in a higher power in the first place), we often expect the removal of suffering. We think if there’s a God, we should get what we want in life.
It may never occur to us that suffering is an opportunity for greater union. Even when we know that intellectually, we may still expect to be rewarded for our devotion to God by getting what we want. Or at least we shouldn’t suffer.
But God works in mysterious ways. The question, of course, is why. God’s apparent silence can be painful; Christians refer to it as the “dark night of the soul.”
Our meditation this morning offered some insight into God’s silence. Maybe we’re not ready to hear. We may think we are, especially if our lives are painful and we see union with God as the antidote to suffering. We may wonder why God seems to reject us when we desire the connection so deeply.
But what if God is revealing what we can handle for now and no more? Perhaps understanding more will mean more is expected of us.
The Desire for Union is Enough
In today’s yoga meditation, we were invited to consider that allowing our spiritual practice to develop in time—not our time, but God’s time—is the only way. It takes faith (not belief, knowledge, or measurable results) to keep going.
Swami Sarchidananda related this to the way we teach children. We don’t expect them to master calculus before they learn to add. We don’t give them car keys before they can walk.
So, it is with God. In the Bible, we’re told God’s ways are beyond our understanding. For many (myself included), this is disappointing. Why the mystery? Shouldn’t anyone with the desire to understand be able to unravel the mystery?
Why Doesn’t God Do Things My Way?
We can see the futility in that kind of expectation. If God did things our way, would we need a higher power?
And before we’re too quick to doubt that God is always there or decide we don’t need a God who doesn’t do things our way, let’s look at the question. The answer is there whenever we wonder why things don’t unfold the way we believe they should.
We need God—or something greater than ourselves—because by ourselves, we struggle with meaning and doubt our purpose. I’m not talking in circles. I’m relying on faith.
Now, if this doesn’t apply to you—if your life is perfect and you have no fears, doubts, or questions—then maybe you don’t need to worry about connecting with something greater (and more mysterious) than you.
Or maybe you’re just not ready to ask the questions. Either way, if you do begin to wonder why you’re here, please remember to give God time. You don’t need to understand everything now. All you need is faith and the desire for union.
Just like the sun on a cloudy day, God is always there, even when nothing makes sense. Do you agree?
I’m Maria, devoted yogini and author of Yoga Circles. I’m a writer, editor, and content marketing creator. I help small businesses, wellness brands, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and communicate effectively in writing. Visit my website (link below) to learn how I can help you connect with more readers, clients, and students!