Thursday, November 8, 2007

startled out of a fog

The book I am reading, Come Be My Light, makes the point that the very longing for God is evidence of His presence in your life.

Over the years it has seemed as though every time I believe myself to be moving closer to God, feeling as though I have a stronger relationship with Him, or having a clearer understanding of what it is He wants from me, I find myself cast down into this dark vortex of longing.

I had long ago accepted that the haunting loneliness could only be eased by the presence of God, but it wasn't until I began reading the writings of Mother Teresa and her spiritual advisers that I considered the notion that it was God's presence in my life, not His absence, which made that longing so great at times.

For a long time I have viewed my earthly suffering as a penance that must be paid for my earthly sins, but I have been startled out of my most recent fog by several revelations.

1) If Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins then surely the trials we face here on earth are not punishment for those same sins, but instead either a calling from God drawing us closer to Him, or a temptation from evil that seeks to drive me away from Him and my faith in Him.

2) They say that storms arise in your life when you are closest to God and that by standing firm, your eyes and heart forever fixed on God, you will ride the storm out in safety.

I suppose the biggest obstacle for most of us is our need for instant gratification. No one ever promised that our life on this earth would be easy, or even tolerable, but we have been promised, a promise sealed with the blood of Christ, that we will eventually rejoin God. The only real question left isn't whether you can see God's blessings in your life now, but whether your faith is strong enough to believe in the promise He offered, even in the face of suffering.

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