C. S. Lewis pretty much talks about everything I ever thought about. There's nothing like having half a thought that I don't know where it came from or if it's true...and then finding it totally explained in a Lewis book. It makes me feel smart. Or at least keeps me from feeling like a total nutcase for having weird philosophical ideas.

But there's always this part of me that thinks...well...this weird thought has been thought by others. Smart others like Lewis. And in my experience of life it makes a whole lotta sense and seems pretty darn reasonable and true. But where would this idea be in the Bible? Or is it? And then I go...hmmm. And move on with life. 

Anyways. I was reading in Lewis' memoirs from after his wife died, (A Grief Observed) and came to this part:

"...suppose you are up against a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless...

...What do people mean when they say, 'I am not afraid of God because I know He is good'? Have they never been to a dentist?"

I got the part about God finishing what He starts in you. But the last part about being afraid because God is good, was new. New in that I'd not heard it said like that before. But I totally knew the feeling. The terror that whatever God is doing in me isn't done and that bad hard unknown things could keep happening until He's satisfied with where my heart is. It's majorly scary. 

It all made sense when I read that. I knew that God finishes what he starts. And that it might not be super pleasant. And that facing more unpleasant things is frightening. But...I mean...this is just me and Lewis brainstorming here. We could be wrong or just full of bologna.

Then the other day I was reading Job. Mostly because Job had a hard life too and it's kind of nice to know that you're not the only one. And I found a spot at the end of chapter 23 where Job says this: 

"But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;
yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
nor because thick darkness covers my face."

See how it's the same ideas? 
You've got the part about God being good and using ick to turn you into something beautiful. And the part about how He finishes what He starts. He doesn't give up, He's immovable in His purpose for you.

But Job doesn't respond all like, "and so, I'm not afraid because God's good and knows what's best for me." Instead he's terrified.

I sort of dropped dead. Job was terrified of God's goodness too. It's not just me and Lewis. 

This is a true normal thing...to be afraid of God's goodness. It doesn't mean I stop trusting Him or loving Him or something just because I'm afraid of what He will do. I can still know that His will is best and that in the end it will be good. But that doesn't mean I can't be scared of the process. 

Just like I know that if I don't get that cavity filled, it's gonna cause alot of pain and my mouth could eventually become infected and nasty. So I go to the dentist, knowing that he will fix it and change it and make it good in the end. But I'm still scared of the process. Of the drill and the shots and all the discomfort that comes with getting a filling. 

Actually, if I'm not scared of the process then I'm just naive and haven't really considered what it takes to allow Christ to come in and change you. When I give Him my heart I have to give it all to Him to do whatever He wants with it. If I'm not prepared to endure a lot of pain in order to become what He wants, I really haven't considered the cost of being His.

If you are His...you should be scared. Cuz He loves you more than you can ever imagine. And there is no way that His love will allow you to dwadle your way through life just by yourself and never be challenged or changed. He knows that the greatest good for you is to become like Him. He will take you and rip you and your life apart for as long or as often as it takes until He is satisfied with what He has made you. It's a scary life being His. But Job knew...when He's finished with us...we will come out like gold.


Peter Rust said...

Thank you, Kaisha.

Just One Thing More said...

Love this! Tullian said in a sermon recently that "God is good, but He isn't safe." It's a little edgy and maybe some people wouldn't like it. It's Lewisy and Aslanish. And I think it's what you're talking about. I think you're hitting on the melding of two things that feel like they can't co-habitate your heart. But there they are, sitting next to each other, and feeling a little bit wrong. I LOVE the Job passage. Makes me wonder if its in the Psalms too.