DayBreaks for 02/20/12 – You Don’t Understand
Matthew 10:37-38 – “37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”
As C. S. Lewis grieved for his wife (whom he refers to as “H” in A Grief Observed), he eventually came to write of a great conundrum: “Am I, for instance, just sidling back to God because I know that if there’s any road to H., it runs through Him? But then of course I know perfectly well that He can’t be used as a road. If you’re approaching Him not as the goal, but as a road, not as the end, but as a means, you’re not really approaching Him at all. That’s what was wrong with all those popular pictures of happy reunions ‘on the further shore;’ not the simple-minded and very earthly images, but the fact that they make an End of what we can get only as a by-product of the true End.
“Lord, are these your real terms? Can I meet H. again only if I learn to love you so much that I don’t care whether I meet her or not? Consider, Lord, how it looks to us. What would anyone think of me if I said to the boys, ‘No toffee now. But when you’ve grown up and don’t really want toffee you shall have as much of it as you choose?’
“If I knew that to be eternally divided from H. and eternally forgotten by her would add a greater joy and splendor to her being, of course I’d say, ‘Fire ahead.’ Just as if, on earth, I could have cured her cancer by never seeing her again, I’d have arranged never to see her again. I’d have had to. Any decent person would. But that’s quite different. That’s not the situation I’m in.
“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’”
What is the price we pay to be reunited some day with our loved ones? It is simply this: to love God and serve Him above all else. Is that such a great price to pay? Lewis’ point is well made, however – we must be genuine in our love for God for He won’t settle for us to just to use Him as a highway for the purpose of our reuniting with family and friends. He must be the First and Foremost – the reunion with loved ones comes as a by-product of the greater blessing – coming to know Him.
There are times we have all experienced when we have asked God questions and received the ‘no answer’ that Lewis spoke of. When that happens, we shouldn’t be surprised, or think the door to the Throne has been locked and we have been barred. Rather, God must sometimes be puzzled at what to say to us. How can the Infinite One explain His actions and purposes to us in a way we could understand? In the midst of all this confusion, He wants us to have the peace that comes only from trusting Him with everything!
PRAYER: Lord, we are full of foolish questions and notions, even confused about what it is that our hearts really long for. Though we don’t understand Your workings and ways, let trust take root and may we pursue You above any earthly or any eternal diversion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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