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  • Sarah Raad

Palace

“There could be no surer sign of God’s love for you than this pain He has sent you. Adore the Divine Will.” (Saint Paul of the Cross).

Saint Paul of the Cross (Icon)

I recently read a short anecdote by the Christian writer, C. S. Lewis, where Lewis wrote about a house and a palace…


“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”


And I have been reflecting on that house and that palace and the “hurt” that Lewis is commenting on in the story.


You see, Saint Paul of the Cross said, “There could be no surer sign of God’s love for you than this pain He has sent you. Adore the Divine Will.”


And I have been reflecting on that too, considering Lewis’ story about the house and the palace. Because the one thing that I have come to realise over the last few years since my conversion – which occurred through Grace and no merit of my own – is that nothing is as it seems when we are dealing with God and His Holy Will…


I so often pray for little things – I mean really really little things… Please God, help my son today in his maths test. Please God, help my daughter to concentrate at school. Please God, let my husband come home from work on time. Please God, take away this little ache in my back…


And, because I am a mere child – an infant to my Beloved – and because I know that He loves me with an infinite love that I could never comprehend, I can remain confident in my little girl prayers, because they are merely an opportunity to talk to my Beloved. You see, my Beloved does not wait in the wings ready to bestow mere little favours on me. No! My Beloved created me for BIG things – the BIGGEST thing really – My Beloved created me for ETERNITY… And when I consider that ETERNITY, I wonder about how I could ever worry about a maths test, some concentrating, timeliness and a little ache… And – though my Beloved welcomes my little prayers because He loves me – the answers to my little prayers are literally nothing in the face of FOREVER?

And when I think of that – and all the other things that my Beloved has in store for me to prepare me for FOREVER – my heart dances with delight, even here, on the road to Calvary, because it “hurts abominably”! And the wonder – the true miracle – is that because I know my Beloved and trust Him, I welcome that hurt…

For “There could be no surer sign of God’s love for you than this pain He has sent you. Adore the Divine Will.” (Saint Paul of the Cross).


And in following the advice of Saint Paul of the Cross, I “Adore the Divine Will.” For my Beloved has prepared a palace for me – whatever could I have to fear?


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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