Have you ever had a struggle that you felt like you would never get past? You would never be over? Maybe something wears you down and you feel like you’ll never learn how to get through it or triumph over it?
We are definitely creatures of short-sightedness.
If only we could have God’s perspective on our life! Shoulda woulda coulda.
I will never forget the wise words from one of my youth minister’s growing up. I was going through a struggle (one which I honestly can’t even recall! ha!), and he told me “This too shall pass.” Why I had never heard that before, I don’t know. I hear it all the time now! Or maybe you’ve heard people tell you, “It’s only a season.” And for goodness’ sake, you feel like the “season” is lasting all of your life!
Either way, we have such a hard time seeing past our current circumstances into the future where we experience the triumph or the character building from the struggle. Tunnel vision. The problem is that the tunnel seems so dark and the light so far away.
If you’ve ever had children, you remember those milestones through their infancy and into the toddler phase. First, you think they’ll NEVER sleep (or at least that’s what I thought with all three of my boys…I’m pretty sure I thought I was going to die several times through that “season”). And then one day, you wake up for the first time at 7 a.m. (instead of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. and…) and you do the victory dance (and then quickly peak at the monitor to make sure baby is alive). Secondly, you think they’ll NEVER get those teeth in that seem to bother them for months (seriously?! what is up with that? I could collect drool and sell it for a small fortune). Then one day, you see two little teeth pop through their gums! Next, you think they’ll NEVER crawl. Then one day, you watch the movement from belly to hands and knees, see the rocking and they take off! Then you think they’ll NEVER walk. And then one day, they’re cruising around the coffee table and all of a sudden they let go and take a couple of steps to your open arms (and then for the next 2 years you wish they had never learned to walk because then they get into everything!). And so it goes year after year, milestone after milestone. You think they are never going to learn something, but then they do. And of course they do! Have you seen many adults who don’t sleep through the night and require multiple feedings at night? Any adults with no teeth? Any adults who only crawl everywhere? How absurd! Of course not! It’s all a part of our development as humans.
So why is our spiritual life any different? We drink the milk and move on to the meat. But we grow over time. We can’t start off with the meat anymore than a baby can start off walking and talking.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
These struggles can be to us “light momentary affliction” with the right perspective. These things that we deal with everyday are the “seen” and are transient.
tran·sient adjective 1. lasting only for a short time; impermanent. Synonyms: transitory, temporary, short-lived, short-term, impermanent, brief, short, momentary, fleeting, passing, here today and gone tomorrow.