C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain wrote:
We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the ‘intolerable compliment’. Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would, doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and recommenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumbnail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed us for a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less. How this gem of truth has resonated with me, bringing peace and healing deep within. To give God my blessing to do His good work in me according to His glorious design. To be whole and wholly His. To experience His tender and passionate love — His pains-taking labor on the canvas of my soul. Thank you Father!
I spent a year in the Ural mountain reigon of Russia. Such a long hard cold winter. Such bitter bleakness. We were close enough to the Arctic Circle that light itself was a precious commodity. It was hard to stay motivated. It was easy to slog along in my rut, thinking, ‘yep, this is life — this is the best it gets’. Then finally one morning when I had just about resigned myself to be forever grasped by winter’s ruthlessness I woke up and sensed a subtle change. A voice of hope deep inside me whispered, ‘take heart, Spring is on it’s way’. Spring WAS on it’s way –and what a Spring it was! That year my eyes were opened for the first time to the wonders of Spring’s glory. I realized that every spring I had ever experienced was a pale weak imitation to the live-action reality that is a Russian Spring. The deep rich green trees and vibrant flowers came to life before my eyes. The air had a fresh clean newness that if it could be bottled would sell in the billions. The world woke up and shook its sleepy head and I felt as if I was watching it all at ten times normal speed. Sometimes I wonder if God toys with me. Makes me wait for things. What’s that about? Is it the joy He sees in me when I finally get what I want? Did the waiting make the giving sweeter? Or does the waiting and the pain it brings along produce some whole and healing effect deep inside me? Silent and invisible work being done in me while I’m not paying attention? In my impatience, my longing to be in charge of the schedule, to plan out when each step is going to happen I miss something weighty and important. I think it’s the fact that God loves the process. And maybe that the realest and deepest work takes time. I’m waiting Father, for Your work in me. Bring me to back life — like Your Spring — like Your Son.