If you never had the opportunity to read a book by C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain is not the book you want to read! If you want to read an accessible C.S. Lewis book, read Mere Christianity. That book makes for an enjoyable and thoughtful reading experience.The Problem of Pain is a different animal, it brings together British grammar (of the 1930’s) and a deep exploration of the human condition. To examine the question “If God is both omnipotent and good, how can we explain the pain and suffering that people experience daily?”
C.S. Lewis tackles this question with a steady drumbeat of logic, psychology, and theology. The main focus in answering the question of pain and the struggle that human’s face, is that many of the struggles are self-inflicted. Because the nature of human beings/Christians, is that of “rebels who must lay down their arms.” In other words, human being struggle because they initially dislike the hand that is trying to shape them, then as they experience God, they struggle to adapt to the Will of God, eventually the Christian overcomes the pain because the human comes to a realization of the greatness of God.
“When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact will not make us happy. Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot(dictator) and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted.”
Part of the reason for the struggles and pain is the failure of believers to fully accept His greatness, God’s greatness cannot be hidden, but for those who struggle it is the very fact that we want to live life in the pursuit of our own fantasy. I say “fantasy” because human beings believe that they have all the knowledge of the present and future, along with shaping our desires into the perfect remedy for solving the evil of this world! For Hisgood Will incorporates the realities of the present and future. Thus when we simply try to love Him and understand His Will and ways, we come to an understanding of the faithjourney everyone is on.
“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. But God wills our good, and our good is to love Him and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces. If we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God-”
The reason for this article, is not to force you to buy this book, I will lend you one of mine. But to develop a “listening ear” to God! When we experience the struggles, God is speaking to us, and when He speaks to us, it is a reminder, you are not alone, the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe loves you and cares for you.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Enjoy your Faith journey, friends.
Rev. Steve Lee