afflictions, not sins


April 13, Thursday 2017


I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. -Psalm 116:13-14

Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don't agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ. For the beginning of the Passion- the first move, so to speak- is in Gethsemane. In Gethsemane a very strange and significant thing seems to have happened.

It is clear from many of His sayings that Our Lord had long foreseen His death. He knew what conduct such as His, in a world such as we have made of this, must inevitably lead to. But it is clear that this knowledge must somehow have been withdrawn from Him before He prayed in Gethsemane. He could not, with whatever reservation about the Father's will, have prayed that the cup might pass and simultaneously known that it would not. That is both a logical and psychological impossibility. You see what this involves? Lest any trial incident to humanity should be lacking, the torments of hope- of suspense, anxiety- were at the last moment loosed upon Him- the possibility that, after all, He might, He just conceivably might, be spared the supreme horror. There was precedent. Isaac had been spared: he too at the last moment, he also against all apparent possibility.

Lord, let us go forth with the same faith in you, regardless of how we feel about it in the moment. Let our faith be faith in you, not in ourselves.