Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19.

There is great gain in Godliness combined with contentment. (1 Tim. 6:6)

See also Ruysbroeck, The Sparkling Stone

Joy and sorrow. Pain and elation. Heaven and hell. Why is life like that? Why is one moment ablaze with glory, every cloud, every leaf, every person a heart-shattering manifestation of love, and the next moment painfully dry, oppressive, crushingly heavy? Friends rejoice with you. Loved ones reject you. God shows his face. God is nowhere to be found.

You have entered the spiritual life. You have been stripped to some extent of external attachments. You no longer seek wealth, reputation, power, experience. Your worship at times sinks into the imageless, fathomless depths of your soul, as loving desire that wracks your whole being. You follow Christ avidly and single-mindedly.

And yet there is still self living in you. Too much. A hellish amount. You love your spiritual life. You love your love. You must be set free in ever deeper parts of your spirit.

In a pinhole camera all light must pass through a single point. Is it possible to become so completely nothing that the light of God shining through you is perfectly in focus?

Life is so hard. And so joyful.

Have you officially given God permission to do whatever it takes to purify you?

Harry Plantinga

Harry Plantinga is a professor of computer science at Calvin University and the director of and