Beyond all expectation

Heaven, shores

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he has abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in ‘the High Countries.’

–C. S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Artwork: Freydoon Rassouli

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Published in: on 02/14/2015 at 8:24  Leave a Comment  
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Hearts made for God

sereno-atardecer

Pride struggles to push us to the top of the heap. But the top of the heap is not vacant. God is there, high above all. Ambition drives us to seek power and glory—but the glory and power are Yours, Lord. The promiscuous man or woman is looking desperately for some kind of love in return, but fails to see the love of God, offered freely and without condition . . .

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Others search restlessly for satisfaction in this or that sensual experience, but only “at his right hand” are there “pleasures forevermore.” Truly our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You, O Lord . . .

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In other words, sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him.

–St. Augustine
The Confessions of Augustine
In Modern English

Satisfied and wanting more

Waterfall cave

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more. The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life” (John 4:14 NEB).

Everyone who drinks this water, the waters of the world, “will be thirsty again.” The waters of this world – sex, money, pleasure, fame – have the doom of thirst upon them. You get them and then you know that they are not what you really want. “But whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more.”

“Never suffer thirst”  – 
that is literally true.
For the inner being and Christ
are made for each other,
and when you find him you find yourself.
The soul cries “This is it,”
and you never thirst again.

But a strange thing happens: “The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life.” The gift, “the water that I shall give,” will become “an inner spring,” become an inner spontaneity. The gift creates spontaneity. That is a miracle, for gifts usually create dependence and weakness. This creates independence and strength, “an inner spring.” Another strange thing happens: The person who drinks of the water which Jesus gives “will never suffer thirst anymore” – he will be forever satisfied, and yet that water becomes “an inner spring always welling up for eternal life.” That satisfaction becomes not a dissatisfaction, but an unsatisfaction for more; it becomes something “always welling up for eternal life,” always crying for more of this eternal life. A paradox, but a blessed paradox. I had what I wanted and I wanted more.

–E. Stanley Jones
A Song of Ascents

The deepest thirst

Young man looking up 2

The soul’s deepest thirst
is for God Himself,
who has made us
so that we can never 
be satisfied without Him.

–F. F. Bruce
(1910 – 1990)

Never meant to satisfy

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Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desire exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex.

If I find in myself a desire which
no experience in this world can satisfy,
the most probably explanation is that
I was made for another world.

If none of my earthly pleasure satisfy it, that does not mean the universe is a fraud . . . earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.

–C. S. Lewis

Photo by Mohd Shamsudin

Finding satisfaction

God is most honored by us,
when we are most satisfied in Him.

“If anyone is thirsty,
let him come to me and drink.”
John 7:37

Published in: on 09/30/2011 at 9:21  Leave a Comment  
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