Elder Efraim of Arizona. The illness and the will of God
Ignorance, my child, is known as the soul’s death. Ignorance does not enlighten a sick person; it does not say to him: “Your illness is the will of God, and you ought to pass through it with patience and thankfulness, so that you will not become a transgressor before God with your impatience!” To the enlightened Christian, however, knowledge of God’s will not only makes him bear everything with thankfulness, but also helps him acquire a strong spiritual constitution and at the same time obtain the refreshment of consolation. He reflects: “By undergoing these pains and afflictions I am doing God’s will, and this will bring about the forgiveness of my previous offenses. By paying here the debt of my sentence, I shall receive my freedom there in the life to come, where I shall live eternally—whereas here, no matter how much suffering I may undergo, it is temporary and short-lived.”
So my child, we need patience so as not to be condemned with the unrepentant world. Regardless of what might happen to us, through patience everything is put aright, and the inner man will find peace, bearing patiently what God has allowed.
Bear your cross, and I shall bear mine, as we follow the heavenly Bridegroom, Christ, Who for us ungrateful sinners bore a Cross of disgrace. What do we bear that is equal in worth to such good things that we enjoy from God? If I were to enumerate the blessings of God and the ingratitude of man, I think my mind would stop; for how can the finite mind comprehend the infinite benefactions of God towards man?
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu