What is the sign that you are heading down this path of self-reliance? Emptiness. It is as if you chose your meal, ate it, and went away hungrier than before. You sense the hollowness of going through the motions, and it is not the resistance of the flesh to the things of the Spirit. It is a spiritual emptiness.
The prophet had given David some specific choices. Your circumstances are different, but you have the same options. You can choose to see what is happening to you as coming from the hand of God, or the hands of men. You can define the will of God according to the revelation of Jesus Christ, or according to the explanations of men. You can try to take fate into your own hands. In doing so, you will still find yourself falling “into the hand of man.”
Jesus has done his job with perfection. He has shown us the divine will. Jean Pierre de Caussade is not misguided or naïve when he tells us that this will is “infinitely beneficial to all those who hope in it.” And it is not without reason that he adds that those who hope in it must do so “fully and without reservation,” as those “who love nothing and seek nothing for themselves.” This is really your only sane option.
Life will throw everything it has at you to convince you that the will of God cannot be trusted, much less loved. Jesus thought otherwise. Be like him. Recognize the will of God when the universe tries to disguise it as random, senseless suffering, and, as Jean Pierre de Caussade urges us, “pursue this will, and love it, all the way to the death of the cross.”
Jesus had convinced multitudes that he knew something nobody else knew, that he had insight into a heavenly secret, called “the will of the Father,” that guided his every move. Yet his every move led straight to the cross. Even on the cross, however, Jesus embodied the will of God. You could not see it, as before, in its results, effects, and outcomes. You had to look directly at Jesus himself.
In this life, circumstances will conspire to convince you that “the will of God” is a naïve fantasy, that the universe is senseless, and that evil remains undefeated. It is then that you must remember that Jesus believed that there was something call the will of God, that it was good, and that it was worth doing, at any cost.
The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 14 “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. –2 Kings 5:12 (ESV) To those who are small, God reveals … Read more
The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 13 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” –Matthew 11:25-26 (ESV) To those who … Read more