Needs and God
God’s will and our desires are certainly not the same thing. And yet the will of God and the needs of people are not utterly different either. Even those of us who sometimes speak of God as the “Wholly Other” cannot strictly separate the human and the divine. I recall an intriguing dialogue between two of the characters found in Elie Wiesel’s novel The Town Beyond the Wall.
“You like to talk about God?”
“You know I do.”
“Then go on. Go on, Pedro. Talk to me about God.”
“God, little brother, is the weakness of strong men and the strength of weak men.”
“What about men? Do you like to talk about men too?”
“You know I do.”
“Then talk to me about men.”
“Man is God’s strength. Also his weakness.”
God has chosen not to work in this world without people. Men and women have been God’s strength in working for the justice and salvation of the world. But as the book of Hosea and countless other passages of scripture tell us, the people of God who have betrayed the Lord through following their own passions have also been a heartbreak for God.
God has so created us that our deepest and truest needs are fulfilled only when we submit ourselves to the reign of God. We do not find the way to fulfillment by asking, “What do I want?” Rather the appropriate question to ask is, “What does God want of me? What does God want for the church?”
God is not insensitive to our needs. But our needs are not the same as our desires. True needs are met only has we open our lives to the Divine so that God can make us face our weakness when we think ourselves strong, and so that God can give us strength in the midst of our weakness.
Grace and Peace,