I enjoy reading anything by C.S. Lewis, and I recently purchased a new book of his essays called “The Weight of Glory and Other Essays.” As I was reading the title essay, I came across a passage that intrigued me. Lewis was talking about our inner desire for Heaven and how a person cannot really understand that which we desire because we haven’t experienced it. It is at this point that Lewis says:
If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know.
I believe, as I think Lewis did, that the existence of God and Heaven is an objective reality that I can come to know, a bit more each day, by reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer. In our culture today, however, many people want to create a God that meshes with what they already believe. Often the God people create in their own minds bears little resemblance to the God of the Bible.
As I read this passage by Lewis, I realized that there are passages in the Bible that I find puzzling. There are stories in the Bible that I find repellent and I wonder why they are there. Some parts are quite challenging to me and that seem illogical or strange in my limited experience and understanding. But these are just the passages and stories that I need to try to understand if I want to know God better.
And so I read scripture, the parts I love and the parts that puzzle me. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand how the parts fit into and compliment the whole story of God’s creation, love, judgment, and redemption of His children. These are the things I most need to know and understand.