Words That Say Think, Meditate, Contemplate This
I love reading, probably go through a couple of fiction books a week, digest several chapters from a variety of books in preparation for the weekly Bible study I teach, and browse/surf countless webpages for research and entertainment. Rising up from off the pages like signposts on a stretch of desert highway, some phrases catch my eye, make me strain to discern exactly how these words stir my soul, make me pause, cause me to catch my breath for just a second. Here are a few from this week’s reading:
“Joy is not the absence of pain, but the presence of God.” –Teilhard de Chardin (quoted by Ron Dunn in his book When Heaven Is Silent.) These words seemed to leap straight from the page to my heart because I was hurting for someone, feeling their pain, and their pain had become my pain, and I wanted to be rid of the pain, to regain my joy. No need to do that, though, I was reminded by this thought. His presence was with me and this is my joy forevermore, even in my pain.
Jonathan Edwards wrote on our being satisfied with God : “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.” Is this how I think about God? Do I find enjoyment in Him? Joy comes, I think, as a response to something I am experiencing. Say, for instance, I am reading to my grandkids and they are delighting in the story and we are laughing and joking about the characters. I’m enjoying this experience. It gives me joy. I believe we enjoy God in the same way, though it is far better than this earthly joy. The more often we share His words together, the more often we talk together, the more enjoyment I find in Him and my soul is indeed satisfied in Him.