Sunday, December 7, 2008

Flux (Part I)

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12) Then why are we always so surprised? Why do we think some something is wrong with us? Why do we think our trials mean that we've done something wrong in our lives?

Life is interesting. Since the creation of time, humans have pondered their existence. Our journey through this world consists of changes in perspective that cause us both unexplainable joy and unbearable pain, but rarely does there seem to be any middle ground. Basically, it seems that life is a series of peaks and valleys, with the ascensions and descensions occurring rapidly as we frantically try and make it to the next season of life. In our pain, we cry out to God and beg Him to accelerate our time in the valley, and when we arrive at the peak of the mountain top, we always seem to find some reason to discount God's favor. And what happens? We miss out on two very vital points in life where God teaches us the most.

C.S. Lewis wrote that "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains". Is this why we seem to learn the most as we walk through trials? When you think about it, pain, emotional, physical or spiritual, is the one element of life that demands our full attention. It doesn't matter what's occurring around us; when we are in deep pain, it seems to be the only focus of our existence. It's as if nothing can penetrate the barrier of pain, as we sit isolated from relief. I wonder if this is what Lewis meant? In these times, is God lifting His voice to the limit of human perception? Is His voice the only thing that cuts through the solitude of pain? If we are honest, we know that God is allowing us to feel pain in order to teach us something that has been drowned out by the other senses of our lives. Joy, peace, happiness, love, passion, excitement; they all can hinder us from hearing from God. Pain cancels out the noise and exposes our soul bare. But we avoid it. We pray for God to alleviate it. And in the process, we fail to learn what God intends us to learn.

No comments: