We feel a pressure at first only unconsciously.
There is something wrong with the world or with us. And so we push back. We plan our victory, the great comeuppance. We take refuge in an idea. Or we simply rebel. We begin to structure are lives and our hopes for the day when we shall definitively break through–the day of our vindication, when all shall be well.
But at some point we discover that the pressure which was once only felt unconsciously or occasionally, has become more definite. It is like Ransom’s experience of space in Out of the Silent Planet.
Even more terrible, the pain seems almost personal, like pressure upon a wound. This is because that is exactly what it is. The pressure is without mercy, for it is mercy.
But until we relent, until we give up, it seems the hand of fate, that spiteful and mocking indifference of the dealer who each time deals a hand that is one card short of flush. It is the child who waits till you are nearly done constructing your castle to come stomping by and kick it over.
The rug is yet again pulled out from under you, just when you seem to be entering upon the moment of your triumph.
“It’s not going to stop!” We cry out. And if we truly believe this, we may have begun to enter a new era in our lives. For if not, we shall simply return to our castles of sand.
This terrible force that has shown us no mercy, now teaches us with sternness, but with a sternness which will become something quite different if we obey. This force demands that we walk in its light.
Only in that light, in the light of a world which is not our own, and with a Creator who is not our cosmic butler, do we finally discover the light of love, that which we have all along been groping after, but in broken, selfish ways.
All along, that relentless pressure upon our wound, a wound we have so longed wished to deny, has been nothing other than Him preparing a place for Himself, of readying us to become willing to do the painful work of opening up our hearts unto that terrible light which alone shall make all things well.
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Luke 5:31).