Cancer, death, infertility, miscarriage, divorce, heartbreak. This world is full of hardship and suffering. I hesitate to even compare heartbreak I’ve experienced myself, knowing there is so much deeper pain out there. Yet when I think about how much life can hurt, it makes me even more compassionate for those who have had to walk through even deeper things like the loss of a child. As I grow older I realize how naive I have been to the reality of suffering in the world. How blissful it is to be a child carried home wrapped in the loving arms of a strong dad. The older I get (and I know I’m still so young) the more I experience and see reality of life on this earth.
What do we do with the hardships in this world? What do we do when we experience suffering and it doesn’t go away? What do we do during the healing process that can take so much longer than we ever thought it could? What do we do when we begin to think about these things, and our minds and hearts become a downward spiral toward despair?
Not five years down the road…although that can be helpful in finding hope. Not ten years from now….no not even fifty years will do. We must look toward a time that we can barely even comprehend. A time that we cannot wrap our puny (yes I said puny) human minds around.
Look to forever.
I know what you’re thinking….here we go again, another girl trying to make me feel better about the next fifty years that feel like eternity by telling me about heaven. But what if we really thought about the reality of that?? Forever. That’s a long time. 🙂 And no…I’m actually not trying to make you “feel better.” I’m trying to find joy. Joy that is deeper than the things of this world.
If I could compare even the smallest of my “sufferings” to the magnitude of eternity, they suddenly grow much smaller. When processing some upcoming hard things I will have to walk through a friend of mine mentioned that it will be hard and I will have to discipline my mind. And she’s right; discipline my mind to compare the present with eternity. It focuses my heart, my mind, and my purpose. It makes me yearn to live for so much more than just “reaching happiness” in this life….as if there were such a point one could get to. Happiness is momentary. Happiness can be gone in a blink of an eye. Joy is eternal. Joy comes from knowing that I, a selfish human being deserve nothing, but was given everything in the cross of Jesus. Joy comes from knowing that compared to eternity with Jesus, this present worldly suffering is but a moment.
Jesus give me forever eyes. The lens in which true joy is found.
Here are a few short videos that have rocked my world on this topic this year….
Francis Chan rope analogy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF_x8dsvb_4
God’s goodness in your pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7_E_fZGVrI
The art of celebrationg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VamJCsYMFBg