Our time is a terrible one with almost unaswerable problems, unexplainable situations, among the most terrible struggles. Don’t despair, but we should expect even worse, don’t despair, but know that in every moment the unseen, the non-existent, the “unyielding” God is here with us, not only in the space around me, but also in my heart; and there’s no trial allowed by Him without also giving us a way out. I don’t know what way out, but may God also guide us through unexplainable situations.
The ruler of this world wants to show us that we cannot escape him in any way. With all this organization, with the satellites, with things that follow us and through which we are followed we have no chance to escape. Many people told me about some movies that they watched. One of them was called “The Domino principle”. The movies showed that if the eye of this world is on you, you have no way out and, after all, it ends in catastrophe, in death. And when they were telling me I felt how panic creeps upon me, but I noticed one thing: they didn’t talk about God in none of the movies. None of them said: “Lord!”.
I know three cases and in one of them that I know personally, after tens of years of hell, when the person reached the point of madness, of suicide, instead of doing this, he said “Lord!” and his life changed immediately. We have an alternative that the spirit of this world doesn’t put forward: to shout to God! But, from now, in the great tribulation, our only escape is God! In reality, throughout history, there was never an escape or a solution without God, but the meek God left us to mind our own business even though we thought that the escape came as a result of our intelligence, or we were lucky and found this solution and we don’t realize that God planned that situation and left us to believe like that. But throughout history there was no solution found without being given by God. “A millionaire came and gave me a sum of money and I got out of the situation”. God, since the foundation of the world, knowing what I will be put through, prepared a millionaire to come and give me the money. But let us not forget to thank God and be aware of that.
The psalm says: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (Psalm 127, 1). Yes, I’m watching, but not my watch will guard the city unless God watches in me. We have to negotiate with God. Only in God we have to trust. The psalm says: “For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me”, “But your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face” (Psalm 44, 6, 3) – said David the warrior. Yes, but with his arm he hit and with his bow he shot. With us too, God will not come, but I will build the house, but if God will not work in me, nothing will come of it. What I mean is that always, throughout history, God was the only escape, but, not wanting to compel us, He left us to believe that it was our skill which saved us.
The days that come are terrible and there is no escape anymore, as those movies correctly say. Correctly, but not truthfully! Only God will be the escape. I think it’s horrible, and for us it is, but God will know to have mercy on us. And it’s a great privilege and finally we will learn – grant this, O Lord! – to put our hope only in God. And with our only hope in Only God, we will take the sword, the bow, the trowel and we will do what we have to, we will not be intimidated by those who watch on us, but only God is the solution. The evil of today’s world is so organized that there’s no escape anymore.
So, everything that I’ve said is a kind of saying: “Keep your mind in hell”. I didn’t try to avoid, not to talk about the crisis that is and will come, I didn’t try to cover it up, but I said that whatever will be and whatever will happen, if you find yourself at the bottom of hell, despair not, and then the bottom of hell for you will be heaven. Just like the fire of the burning oven was dew for the seven youths. And this is not a story, it’s history. I’ve come to wonder to what extent I should believe in the Scripture, what I should take literally and what metaphorically. Little by little, I’ve come more and more to believe these things literally. When the Scripture says that the water stood up like a wall on their right and on their left, I believe that the water stood up like a wall on their right and on their left. Am I stupid? All right, I’m stupid and I’m glad that I am stupid and I’m not like the smart people of this world that have all the proofs that God doesn’t exist and someday we will see who was the stupid and who the smart. With this I paraphrase what Saint Paul the Apostle said that God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom. And maybe we could end on this note.
Excerpt from the conference of Father Rafail Noica in the Church of the Theotokos and the Church of Saint Elijah, metropolitan residence of Limours, France, October 2017