This is the next in a series of transcripts from my journal, written during the last year of Dave's life.
Yesterday, I was telling Robin that I was tired of this—of being nurse rather than wife, of being married at all. I do not want Dave to die, but this life, this marriage, is wan and pale in the face of his illness.
Then today, I read in LeClerq about monastic culture and the desire for God, and about suffering and its purpose—how sin and suffering, both physical and spiritual illness—bind us to earth. They draw us so that we can yearn for God. That is their purpose—to show us what we so desperately lack so that we can yearn for, reach for, what God supplies.
That’s what Acts 17 says. God engineers circumstance for the sole purpose of drawing us to Him. And Paul’s thorn in his flesh was God’s way of keeping him near.
We keep thinking that God wants us to be happy, but what He really wants is for us to be happy with Him. He will ruin all other happiness.
LeClerq confirms that there are 3 levels of approaching God, all useful in their place.
1. Reading about Him, about holy living. Talking about it and trying to behave like the holy men and women we admire.
2. Reading the Bible carefully and actively. Learning exactly what Jesus and what God did, incorporating them into action.
3. Prayer that brings me before God, opening myself to His direct touch, letting go of humanity in preference to Him and His word, work, and intention.
It is this last that I have done very little, but I have to remember all the richness I have known in the times I have yielded to it.
I think about how I have lost the habit of yearning for God and begun yearning instead for life. No wonder I feel frustrated sometimes. I already have as much of life as is permitted me. God, however, and the perfection of His heaven, that I can reach for. It has no bottom.
Image from: I Waste So Much Time