Love That Is / by daniel hamlin

I was reading some CS Lewis this week and he was discussing God’s love for us. He made what I feel is a profound point. He states, “When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy.” Lewis goes on to say, “God gives what He has, not what He has not: He gives the happiness that there is, not the happiness that is not.” It’s often easy for me to play my own god, to think that I know what is best for my life. But the reality is that I don’t. No matter how much I think I’m capable of determining what will make me happy, if I’m truly honest there have been countless times in my life when the very thing I thought would bring me happiness, when achieved ended up resulting in pain and sadness. So what then? I think Lewis explains this dilemma well. The closer we get to the person of Jesus we find that He is happiness itself; love incarnate as it were. But not the lower, slovenly love that cares not about the beloved’s character and well-being; not the lazy love that appeases requests simply because it doesn’t care enough to get to the root of the beloved’s need. God gives us His perfect love, His true happiness, and this means He won’t settle for simply granting requests without thought for the ultimate end result. It is often hard for me to comprehend such a love and I’ve often found myself resenting such love, wishing God would simply grant my every petition without caring so much about me. But the fact of the matter is that God can only gives us the love that He is—a love that is all encompassing, all consuming, supremely gracious, and ravenously consumed with our well-being. To give us any less would be to not love us. This may mean our discomfort or even grief at times, but in the end it means a love that is perfect, whole, and pure. I might be willing to settle for less, but thankfully God is not.