A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source (p. 48).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
For those of us who do not enjoy being wrong (I assume that includes you too), we probably do not like this quote. Not that we disagree with it; we would just prefer to keep the option alive that we could be right and God wrong for “emergency use only.”
I would dare say that the majority of times when we would like to invoke this emergency clause would be occasions of suffering—times when we are facing painful consequences that are not the result of our personal sin.
Now if we are facing the consequences of our sin, then we need to repent and one definition of repentance is to “agree with God” about the nature of what we did. In that case we will never be right and God be wrong.
However, in cases of suffering, I would contend that we do not disagree with God as much as it feels like we do. God disagrees with suffering too. He is against it. Often we pray prayers of argument to our Father who agrees with our assessment. We are picking a fight that doesn’t exist and living in the unnecessary sense of “distance” that it creates. This multiplies our suffering.
It is like the spouse who comes home from a bad day. The spouse shares the troubles of his/her day with his/her partner expecting disagreement, because that is what the whole day has been like. The partner is not wanting to be oppositional. In actuality the partner would like to comfort his/her spouse in his/her suffering. But because of the tone of the initiating remarks comfort comes across as disagreeing, not understanding, or condescending. The level of actual suffering increases with the sense of marital distance.
We, like the spouse above, often come to God in the midst of our suffering angry, mistrusting, and wanting to give Somebody a piece of our mind about the situation. God wants to comfort us, but our assumption of disagreement won’t allow it. We then blame God for the bridge we burned.
If you resonate with this description, I would encourage you to read through the Psalms; not the “nice” ones, but the “dark” ones. Read the words that God has given us to describe the difficulties of living in a fallen world. I think you will be surprised to find how much God agrees with you about suffering.
If you would like help in identifying Psalms where God speaks to your struggle/suffering, I would encourage you to review the posts on this blog under the titles “God’s Words for Our [Struggle]: Psalm ##.”