1. Kerry Nietz says:

    Good post, John. I’m reminded of the Einstein quote: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” 🙂

  2. The sad reality is that we Christians often expect God to be out in the open.

    Yes, yes, and yes: I agree so much with this statement. I’d encourage everyone to read Otte’s recent series on mountaintop experiences over at his blog for further insight on this subject.

    I’ve met several people in the last year who’ve told me about “seeing Aslan,” or having moments in their lives when God called them to a specific purpose and put a mission on their hearts. I think that’s fantastic.

    But while I’m secure in my salvation, and I’ve had times in my life of steadily drawing closer to Christ, I’ve never “heard the calling,” “felt the presence” or seen any “divine graffiti appear” (as Chris Rice so eloquently puts in “Smell the Color 9”). Sometimes I can look back and see the path He blazed for me (as you mentioned with Shasta), but in the midst of it I have to cling to faith without hindsight or foresight into the outcome.

    I want fiction to address the condition of faithfulness in spite of silence, of peace in the midst of storms we’re not rescued from, of the kind of world the Hebrews lived in when they told the king that though God had the power to rescue them, He could chose not to, and they’d still obey His Word. God is not in the machine: He should live in each of us. Instead of being preoccupied with why He isn’t doing X for us, perhaps the question should be: why aren’t we, as His body, doing something for others?

  3. HG Ferguson says:

    Thank you for reminding me of a truth that’s been obscured in my life lately — that God may not appear as a pillar of fire perhaps, but His Hand is there whether I’m consciously aware of it or not.  Gloria Deo!

  4. Tim Frankovich says:

    I get misty-eyed just thinking of that scene in the book. So profound!

  5. Jill says:

    It would be nice–just once–to hear a loud voice or see some skywriting or something so I didn’t have to stumble around in darkness all the time. I mean, it’s great that in the end, the boy gets to have a convo with Aslan, but God doesn’t do that for us after we’ve been through journeys and trials. He is still silent.

  6. Matthias M. Hoefler says:

    Cold comfort when you’re creeping through a dark place. It hurts, and it’s ridiculously awful. The question can become, “Is God really good?” Suffering is awful business.

    It can take years for Him to straighten us out to the point we are aware of how good He really has been to us, and that in the face of insane things that seem to contradict His goodness. I hope it won’t take years for you.

    The scene quoted I found very comforting.

    I’m no expert on how God leads us and what that feels like, but there are indeed times He seems like He’s hiding. Where was He when six million Jews burned to death at the hands of the Nazis?

    I’m encouraged by your article to finish the series. My gf used to read them to me, but we didn’t finish the Horse one or the rest. 

    Francis A. Schaeffer has a book titled The God Who is There, and another, He is There and He is Not Silent. The way nature is, you’d think maybe God would be extravagant in leading us, too. Subtle, this One.

    Reminds me of the Michael Card song:

    “Could it be You make Your Presence known so often by Your absence?
    Could it be questions tell us more than answers ever do?
    Could it be Someone would really rather die than live without me?
    Could it be the only thing that means anything is You?”
    “But however it was with his father and mother, this is a story that shows God loves simple folk, and turns things to their advantage in the end.” 
    – “The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship” (Joanna Cole’s selection)
    It may not feel like it. At all. But we are all those simple folk.

  7. Kessie says:

    Ah, lovely analysis of my very favorite of the Narnia books. Thank you!

  8. Julie D says:

    Speaking of “coincidences,”  I just started a Bible study group Tuesday that is  very much about hearing from God (can’t remember the author or title).  The speaker said we should expect to hear from God, that if God was willing to die for us of course he wants to talk to us. 
    But I felt the speaker was working from a flawed definition of specific revelation.  She seemed to have general revelation understood (God’s handiwork in nature), but she claimed that special revelation was when God spoke directly to a person, whether in Bible times or today. As much as I would be amazed to hear from God, I think that some of the things she’s referencing overlook the value of what God has already told us in his word.  Admittedly, it was only the first video, but still…
    and at the same time,  I could use some more extremely specific revelation regarding job plans…

  9. Kirsty says:

    I could use some more extremely specific revelation regarding job plans…

    We had a couple of sermons about guidance a few years ago that I found extremely helpful (unfortunately after I had spent months worrying over job plans). I know he said he based a lot of it on a book called Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne. The basic gist was that we make it far too complicated.

What do you think?