Trickster God

"He says that when he entered [the monastery], he expected to be "flayed" for his clumsiness, but that instead, "God had fooled him, since he found only satisfaction," and he adds that he often said to God "You have deceived me!" (emphasis mine)

It took many a year for Brother Lawrence (b. Nicolas Herman) to come around to seeing God's true character. As kind, gentle, ever-present and wonderfully loving. In his latter years, the simplest act done (if I may) "in love and the spirit of meekness" (1 Corinthians 4:21) brought such thrill to God's heart that, it would seem, the fabric between dimensions had worn thin and the light of God's face literally shone all about the man. It comes through in his little book The Practice of the Presence of God.

"To the chief musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song. God be merciful unto us, and bless us: and cause His face to shine upon us;" (Psalm 67:1)

Sometimes, though, in spite of our preconceived notions, God has no choice but to surprise us. I've thought the same as the top. That God had come around and shown (?) me something I either didn't know or had forgotten. But it wasn't God's fault I was thick in the first place was it? It wasn't. As a matter of fact, it was He who through time and hardship, allowed the calloused layers of whatever-it-was (pride)  to slough off in order to let His true character shine through. And don't forget: He's always like this.

"He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear, and afflict them, even He that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God." (Psalm 55:18-19, emphasis mine)

The above passage refers to those whose sin and pride has blinded them from seeing God. In the case of the former verse, it would seem David had some detractors/malefactors His heavenly father had to deal with. Then David goes on to describe the worst kind of judgment one could encounter: that of blindness. This is why pain and hardship and suffering can be welcome as they point us to God. If everything is going good and we don't have any trouble--and we're not worshiping and/or praising God in some way, shape, form--we could be blind. To God, His love and His timing. It's scary, assuming we want those things.

The Latin phrase "mundus vult decipi" means the world loves to be deceived. On one hand, as hard as life can be at times, a little sugar-coating can be a pleasant panacea. But too much is a problem. Refusing to face up to what God has and in turn, who He is, is dangerous. Rewinding to Brother Lawrence's life, the perceptions He had of God were initially without an understanding of who Christ is and what He accomplished for us. Having soaked up the negative and judgmental aspects to the Father, the Son provides an umbrella of rest and peace and fun that we as God's kids can partake of all the time. If you don't know this about God, you owe it to yourself to seek Him out on this line. Tell Him you heard that He has a soft and playful side that you've yet to encounter. If He in response puts His finger on anything that would prevent it from shining through, confess it and let Him give you a surprise party.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Not just Heaven. The next moment. And the next.

Cold, Comfort