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by Michael Davis on February 05, 2022

I’m grateful for C.S. Lewis.  Through his words, both spoken and written, he allowed us into his life with God.  From his journey from atheism to theism to becoming a Christ-follower, Lewis gave us a window into his heart and head and all the questions he was asking along the way.

But more than anything, I’m thankful that Mr. Lewis allowed us into his pain, struggles, and disappointments with God.  One of the most powerful works of C.S. Lewis is his book, A Grief Observed.  This book was written shortly after the untimely death of his beloved wife to bone cancer.  Of all the books by Lewis that I’ve read, hands down, his words in this work confront us with a question that most people internalize but are afraid to give voice to.

“Go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find?  A door slammed in your face and a sound of bolting and double-bolting on the inside.  Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble.”  C.S. Lewis – A Grief Observed

I know I haven’t endured the pains that Lewis felt when he buried his beloved, but I’m guessing that all of us (including myself) can relate to the ‘silence’ or ‘absence’ of God when we turn to Him in prayer.

Maybe this is you right now.  Maybe the past 20 days have felt like nothing more than talking to yourself in an empty room wondering ‘what’s the point?’  How does one keep coming to God when God is nowhere to be found?  How does one ‘never stop praying’ when the prayers you’re praying don’t seem to be changing you or the situation you find yourself in.

Much ink by much wiser people has been spilled seeking to answer these challenging and crucial questions.  There are no ‘canned’ or ‘simple' answers to questions like these, so I won’t seek to conjure one up for you.  Rather what I will do, is point you in a direction to go when this is your reality.

Like Lewis, I’m grateful for the Psalms because the Psalms give us a window into the joys, hurts, and pains that all of us can relate to in life.  Psalm 88 is one of the most gut-wrenching and painful Psalms to read.  Here’s an excerpt for you –

"My life is full of troubles…

I am as good as dead…

I am forgotten, cut off from your care…

My eyes are blinded by my tears…”

Not the most encouraging Psalm to read if your looking for a ‘pick-me-up.’  But if I can be honest with you for a moment – there are seasons where God will not give you the pick-me-up that you are asking for.  There are days, weeks, maybe even months, where God will allow you to ‘feel’ His absence because He is seeking to grow something in you greater than the pick-me-up you so desperately want.

And by the way, the Psalmist does not finish his Psalm on a high note that He found God, quite the contrary.  He ends by saying –

“Darkness is my closest friend.”  Psalm 88:18

The point was not the resolve of his pain but that he was resolved to go to God with it.  In other words, the Psalmist had the courage to keep coming.  There is a difference between talking about God and talking to God.  And what Lewis and the Psalmist do so well was to talk to God about God.

I’m grateful that God does not always give answers, and I’m thankful that God does not always show up when or how I want Him to, because through this He’s growing in me a hunger for Him that I might not otherwise have had.

Praying that we might have the courage to keep coming…