“It was when I was Happiest that I Longed most.
The Sweetest thing
in all my life has been the Longing to find
the Place where all the Beauty came from.“
~C S Lewis~
When I consider the state of the world, the peril for Christians, the suffering of friends and family who are ill, I find myself doubting God’s call to anything that touches on the dreams of my heart. How can I lay before God any requests concerning personal happiness when chaos & despair characterize so much of the world around me?
Yet personal dreams persist. Should I silence them once and for all? I look for wisdom among the Christian men and women who dealt with similar issues in years gone by.
One such is Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), a brave young pastor who stood against the Nazis in Hitler’s Germany. When his friends criticized him for falling in love and becoming engaged while a prisoner, he wrote the following comments in his letters concerning reaching out for happiness in the midst of trouble . . .
“When I consider the state of the world, the total obscurity enshrouding our personal destiny, and my present imprisonment, our union—if it wasn’t frivolity, which it certainly wasn’t—can only be a token of God’s grace and goodness, which summon us to believe in Him. We would have to be blind not to see that.
When Jeremiah said, in his people’s hour of direst need, that ‘houses and fields [and vineyards] shall again be bought in this land,’ it was a token of confidence in the future. That requires faith, and may God grant it to us daily. I don’t mean the faith that flees the world, but the faith that endures in the world and loves and remains true to that world in spite of all the hardships it brings us . . .
It was then always very clear to me that a person could take this step as a Christian truly only from within a very strong faith and on the basis of grace.
For here in the midst of the final destruction of all things, one desires to build;
In the midst of a life lived from hour to hour and from day to day, one desires a future;
In the midst of being driven out from the earth, one desires a bit of space;
In the midst of widespread misery, one desires some happiness . . .
And the overwhelming thing is that God says yes to this strange longing, that here God consents to our will, whereas it is usually meant to be just the opposite.
We need not despise happiness simply because there is so much unhappiness.
We should not arrogantly push away the kind hand of God because God’s hand is otherwise so hard. I think it is more important to remind one another of this in these days than of many other things.”
So all good gifts come from God & should be treasured. We dare not turn them away.
This practical wisdom from one of God’s humble servants changed my perspective. I hope it encourages you today! Blessings, friends!
**I gathered my quotes from a wonderful biography: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. You can check this book out & grab a copy for yourself at this link!
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