in preparing my sermon for early morning prayer tomorrow, i stumbled across a C.S. Lewis quote:
Pain, as God’s megaphone, gives us the only opportunity we may have for amendment. It plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul. All of us are aware that it is very hard to turn our thoughts to God when things are going well….We regard [God] as we do a heart-lung machine – there for emergencies, but we hope we’ll never have to use it.
pain is God’s megaphone? really? why do we feel so close to God during praise then? i’m ecstatic when i sing to God. hm. in any case, it’s important to note that C.S. Lewis wrote this book [The Problem with Pain] before he himself had to endure the toughest of losses – the death of his beloved wife. After that incident, he wrote A Grief Observed which in my humble opinion is a more powerful book.
i haven’t faced any tragedies in my life. i know what it is to be sad, but i don’t understand real pain. yet, i know this much is true for me: i feel closest to God when i am drawn to the wonderful cross. my head does not comprehend a mystery so wonderful as the Truth of the Atonement, that Christ satisfied the wrath of God’s justice by taking my place. He took my place and He did it once. Israelites had(have) a religious ceremony called Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, where they traditionally killed a goat and set another free – both acts full of meaning in the removal of guilt from the people. Jesus paid it all. No more sacrifices need to be made.
if the greatest expression of love in history is found on the cross at Calvary, then pain really is God’s megaphone. Are you listening?
the song that moved me the most at Freedom? here’s the chorus line:
At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your Glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now
i swear, every time the praise team led that song, i was a bumbling idiot in the back. sometimes, i think i won’t experience the greatest joy in this lifetime. but pain, sorrow, brokenness? there’s enough to go around. if pain is God beckoning, come home! then i pray for open ears and swift feet.