Thornton Chase, the First Western Baha'i, in his Study
Copyright © 2010 Baha'i National Archives, Wilmete, Used With Permission

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rejoicing in Gods Will

Recently I received permission from Mr. Ali Nakhjavani to post this statement he made:

"Although what you expected did not materialize, we are assured in our Writings that we do not know what 'profiteth' us and what 'harmeth' us. It seems to me that God is interested to see what our reaction will be to setbacks and reverses.
    "He loves us and would not like us to complain and groan. The rock bottom minimum of winning some of His good-pleasure is for us to submit and surrender.  A higher degree would be for us to be contented and radiantly acquiescent, and yet a still higher state is for us to offer him our praise and gratitude.
      "Do we stop there?  No!  Our Teachings tell us that there is yet another higher state.  We have to compose ourselves, look into our lives, discover and count our blessings, and realize that we have been already granted gifts far beyond our deserts.  We then wholeheartedly, in the words of the Long Obligatory Prayer, and as we stand shame-facedly in His presence, we cry out: 'I blush to lift up my face to Thee, and my longing hands are ashamed to stretch forth toward the heaven of Thy bounty.'” 

I think Mr. Nakhjavani's observations on the ways of life are profound.  

Following are some Baha'i prayers containing the phrases Mr. Nakhjavani mentions.

O God, my God! My back is bowed by the burden of my sins, and my heedlessness hath destroyed me. Whenever I ponder my evil doings and Thy benevolence, my heart melteth within me, and my blood boileth in my veins. By Thy Beauty, O Thou the Desire of the world! I blush to lift up my face to Thee, and my longing hands are ashamed to stretch forth toward the heaven of Thy bounty. Thou seest, O my God, how my tears prevent me from remembering Thee and from extolling Thy virtues, O Thou the Lord of the Throne on high and of earth below! I implore Thee by the signs of Thy Kingdom and the mysteries of Thy Dominion to do with Thy loved ones as becometh Thy bounty, O Lord of all being, and is worthy of Thy grace, O King of the seen and the unseen!
(Baha'u'llah, The Long Obligatory Prayer, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 322)

I bear witness at this moment, O my God, to my helplessness and Thy sovereignty, my feebleness and Thy power. I know not that which profiteth me or harmeth me; Thou art, verily, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
(From a prayer by Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Prayers, p. 143)

I am but a wretched creature, O my Lord, and Thou art the All-Possessing, the Most High; and I am all weakness, and Thou art the Almighty, and the Supreme Ordainer in both the beginning and the end. Withhold not from me the fragrances of Thy Revelation, and shatter not my hopes in the outpourings which have been sent down out of the heaven of Thy gifts. Ordain Thou for me, O my God, the good of this world and the world to come, and grant me what will profit me in every world of Thy worlds, for I know not what will help or harm me. Thou, in truth, art the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 256)

This also reminds me of Baha'u'llah's verse,

O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 329)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. Found the comments on the levels or stages of acquiescence particularly helpful. Also Mr. N's words that God likes to see our responses to adversity. A sweet way to frame tests.