God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down. -C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Lewis wrote these words while processing through the death of his wife, Joy. This quote is such a stark reminder of the infinite knowledge our God possesses of His creation. It reminds me of the conversations had by God with Satan and with Job before and during the trials placed upon the life of Job. God didn’t suggest Job as a target for Satan and then hope that Job wouldn’t fail Him. There are no unknowns or calculated risks with an omniscient God. The trials and the journeys He leads us through in this life are not ways in which we prove ourselves to Him– He knew us intimately before time began. The joys and the pains and tests and the trials of this life are the ways in which God proves Himself to us. We are the ones that are doubtful and fallen and questioning and in need of being conformed to the image of Christ. We are the ones who learn in the trials. We learn where our loyalties lie. We learn of the impurities that need to be burned from our lives so that we may better reflect the image of God.
The thing that will never cease to amaze me about myself, about people in general, is that we always seem to think that we are pulling the wool over the eyes of God concerning our sin and idolatry. We place things ahead of the glory of God, and think that He doesn’t know. Lewis points out so eloquently that God knows us so well He even knows the temples we set up in our hearts to other gods. And He knows exactly what it will take to bring those temples crashing down until we are once again standing face-to-face with the God of the universe.
So I wonder, what are my card houses of worship? What are the temples I have so carefully crafted in my own life that God needs to topple? What are the created things that I worship that have taken the place of unadulterated worship of the Creator? My fear is that my deceitful, untrustworthy heart will cling to them until the Father has to tear them down Himself. My prayer is that i will tear down the strong holds in my life (because that’s what temples of cards really are– strongholds of sin) before discipline is required.