Monday, April 25, 2011

A Hidden and Inexhaustible Mine

Michelle and I were reading through my Devotional Classics book (which has been an interesting book. It is a compilation of writings from varies figures in the history of the church) for my church history class. We were reading from a man named Sadhu Sundar Singh. I had not heard of him before, but he sparked my thinking. The first section of his writing is called "A Hidden and Inexhaustible Mine." He begins by saying that it is very difficult to explain or express the experience of the inner life. At one place he says, "My heart overflowed with heavenly joy. I saw that in this world of sorrow and suffering there is a hidden and inexhaustible mine of great joy of which the world knows nothing, because even those who experience it are not able to speak of it adequately and convincingly."

I often find myself at a lack of words when I so desire to express what I am thinking or feeling. At the same time I so long to be able to speak of the joy that I do feel when I am in a state of worship of my Lord. At the same time there are times when I might be in a dark place feeling very low and empty and I equally have trouble expressing what I feel. I find myself getting frustrated with this, and realize that this is a problem that I see in men so often. We grow up thinking that emotion is a bad thing, and that a true man should be like a rock, not allowing himself to go up to high or down to low on the scale. As a result we turn cold, and lack a great deal of intimacy that we are designed to have with God. Of course there is a right way and a wrong way to express emotion. We often forget how full of emotion the Psalms really are. It is there that we are given a perfect example of how to explore the "inner life" before God. It cannot not stop between just me and God, however. As we are called into community by the gospel, we must be open and exposed. As men we must be willing to weep with those who are weeping. To have joy with those who have joy. To raise your hands in worship of God. To abandon the cultural norms of what it mean to be a man, and enter into what it means to be a man after God's own heart.

I realize that this was somewhat of a rabbit trail, and not exactly what Mr. Singh was describing, but it was a take away for me from his writing. We are all finite and can never exhaust the experience of the inner life when we are in Christ, but we should still strive for it.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you son for sharing your heart...
    I can so relate to the 2nd paragraph, the Psalms have always been for me a place to run with every emotion, turning over my emotions to The Father who knows are hearts so well... and yet still loves us with and Everlasting Love! What a joy to be IN CHRIST has we are being transformed more and more into HIS likeness... not yet fully, but this is our hope of glory! To God be the glory great things He has done!
    This was my morning devotional from the "Valley of Vision"
    " O Lord, Thou knowest my great unfitness for service, my present deadness, my inability to do anything for thy glory, my distressing coldness of heart. I am weak, ignorant, unprofitable, and loathe and abhor myself. I am at a loss to know what thou wouldest have me do, for I feel amazingly deserted by thee, and sense they presence so little; Thou makest me possess the sins of my youth, and the dreadful sin of my nature, so that I feel all sin, I cannot think or act but every motion is sin. Return again with showers of converting grace to a poor gospel-abusing sinner. Help my soul to breathe after holiness, after a constant devotedness to thee, after growth in grace more abundantly every day. O Lord, I am lost in the pursuit of this blessedness, and am ready to sink because I fall short of my desire; Help me to hold out a little longer, until the happy hour of deliverance comes, for I cannot lift my soul to thee if thou of thy goodness bring me not nigh. Help me to be diffident, watchful, tender, lest I offend my blessed Friend in thought and behaviour; I confide in Thee, and lean upon Thee, and need Thee at all times to assist and lead me. O that all my distresses and apprehensions might prove but Christ's school to make me fit for greater service by teaching me the great lesson of humility."
    I love you Michael and enjoy reading all that is on your heart, your devoted Mom