Apr 11, 2012
neil

God loves you too much than to give you what you want

I’ve just returned from a walk listening to a Tim Keller sermon on the jealousy of God from 2011 in which he offers this extensive quote from CS Lewis’s Problem of Pain, chapter3:

You asked for a lov­ing God: you have one. ..not a senile benev­o­lence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold phil­antropy of a con­sci­en­tious mag­is­trate, but the con­sum­ing fire Him­self, the Love that made the worlds, per­sis­tent as the artist’s love for his work, prov­i­dent and ven­er­a­ble as a father’s love for a child, jeal­ous, inex­orable, exact­ing as love between the sexes.

When we fall in love with a woman, do we cease to care whether she is clean or dirty, fair or foul? Do we not rather then first begin to care? Does any woman regard it as a sign of love in a man that he neither knows nor cares how she is looking? Love may, indeed, love the beloved when her beauty is lost: but not because it is lost. Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal. Love is more sensitive than hatred itself to every blemish in the beloved.  Of all powers he forgives most, but he condones least: he is pleased with little, but demands all.

What we would here and now call our “happiness” is not the end God chiefly has in view: but when we are such as He can love without impediment, we shall in fact be happy.

God gives what He has, not what He has not: He gives the happiness that there is, not the happiness that is not. To be God—to be like God and to share His goodness in creaturely response—to be miserable—these are the only three alternatives.

God loves us too much to leave us as we are and too much to give us what we want. Keller says we would not give a 5 year old child everything they asked for because we have better things for them in mind. He reminds us of how we look back at our teenage years and cringe with embarrassment at the things we demanded from our parents and even of how our 25 year old selves seem child-like once we have reached 50 and so finally God loves us too much than to give us what we want.

 

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