I’m once again sharing a few thoughts on a quote from The C.S. Lewis Journal, this time an excerpt from The Problem of Pain. Lewis is a very deep thinker and sometimes it takes a few readings to truly get his meaning. But this one is pretty easy to grasp.
A Lewis Quote
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 find God 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?from The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis
Thoughts to Ponder
It’s a curious thing, to think we are content when that which we need most—God Almighty—is the one thing we lack. When wealth and health get in the way of knowing our soul’s greatest delight, perhaps the best thing for us would be to lose wealth, health, or both.
It does seem that when I am sick or in pain, I realize my need for God most. It is at such times that I long for my heavenly home, where joy will never end, all tears will be dried.
Even more curious is that God seems quite certain that when we are at once in His presence in heaven, wealth and health, though in abundance, will no longer be a hindrance to our own relationship with Him. We will then see, I believe, that He is the real and the rest merely shadow; whereas now we’ve been fooled into believing He’s the mere shadow and all else that we enjoy is real.
Lord, help us to see the truth that You are our greatest source of joy and contentment, even if You must take away lesser things from our lives. Amen.