558) God Shouting

     Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us.  ‘We have all we want’ is a terrible saying when ‘all’ does not include God.  We then find God to be an interruption.  As St Augustine says somewhere, “God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s nowhere for Him to put it.”  Or as a friend of mine said, “We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.”  Now God, who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him.  Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as He leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for.  While what we call ‘our own life’ remains agreeable we will not surrender it to Him.  What then can God do in our interests but make ‘our own life’ less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible source of false happiness?

The Problem of Pain, by C. S.Lewis


Pain insists upon being attended to:


Job 1:21  —  (Job) said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither:  the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Hosea 6:1  —  Come, let us return to the Lord.  He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

Job 5:17-18  —  Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.


 O Lord, let me not desire health or life except to spend them for you.  You alone know what is good for me; do, therefore, what seems best to you.  Give to me, or take from me; conform my will to yours; and grant that, with humble and perfect submission, and in holy  confidence, I may receive with gratitude and praise all that comes to me from you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

–Blaise Pascal  (1623-1662)