Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
~ 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17
Just for a Moment
Remember the story of the eagle who was raised by chickens? From the floor of the barnyard, she spots an eagle in the clouds, and her heart stirs. “I can do that!” she whispers. The other chickens laugh, but she knows better. She was born different. Born with a belief.
You were too. Your world extends beyond the barnyard of time. A foreverness woos you. Your heavenly life Everests the pebbles of your earthly life. If grains of sand measured the two, how would they stack up? Heaven would be every grain of sand on every beach on earth, plus more. Earthly life, by contrast, would be one hundredth of one grain of sand. Need a phrase to summarize the length of your life on earth? Try: “Just a moment.”
Wasn’t this the phrase of choice for Paul? “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
What if we had a glimpse of the apostle as he wrote those words? By this time he had been “beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times,” he writes, “I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep” (2 Corinthians 11:23–25 NASB). He goes on to refer to life-threatening river trips, wilderness wanderings, and exposure to cold, attacks, hunger, and thirst. These, in Paul’s words, are light afflictions to be endured for just a moment.
What if we took the same attitude toward life? What if we saw our tough times as a grain of sand scarcely worthy of contrast with the forever dunes?
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
Lord Jesus, you have told us that we will have troubles and tribulation here on earth even as your children. But you have also promised to help us tackle these troubles. You promise your grace to overcome and your strength to triumphantly endure the hard times that come our way. When we face affliction, may we take Paul’s view that it is just for a moment. May we keep a perspective that extends beyond the present problem to an eternity spent with you, amen.