Some evenings ago, I found myself simultaneously beautiful and ugly. While beautiful in sincerity, I had puffy eyes, and snot running down my face. I was sobbing, asking to hear God’s audible voice, which is where I ran into a dilemma. I have been so content in times in which I have had no evidence, as Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29). But I also know that He moves in wondrous ways to reveal His love, and I wasn’t compromising a blessing by asking. His rest washed over me as I began to turn over in my heart, what I call, “The Brilliant Paradox.”
The Pharisees observed Jesus and saw only paradox, and not it’s brilliance. We must grow to understand the symbiotic novelty of becoming simultaneously desperate and content, hungry and filled, insatiable and satisfied.
We must realize that it is okay to be desperate for the supernatural⎯ a desire in which we are built. As C.S. Lewis put it, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”¹
Our inner conflict often looks like this: We desire so desperately to see the fruit of His existence and nearness in a supernatural way. And while I think it is often right that our desperation has us hungry for encounter, I think of John 17, and how Jesus reveals the promise⎯ Holy Spirit, Counselor, and more, with us to the very end. And Jesus says this is better. The depth of our relationship is found in the beauty of His still and small voice inside⎯ the nudges and promptings⎯ as tiny as they may seem. Our growing sensitivity reveals maturity, revealing The Brilliant Paradox.
¹ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (ed. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2001) 136-137.