Reflections on the Problem of Suffering from CS Lewis, the New Testament, and Christian Radio
One of the most memorable passages from Lewis is the following thought experiment:
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Which echoes this:
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, which comes upon you to prove you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy.” (I Peter 4:12-13).
Which echoes this–highlighting God’s ultimate purposes for our lives:
And this is echoed in these 36 verses on the purposes of suffering from the Bible referenced here.
You can read the original essay on this CS Lewis passage here.