At first sight the concept of an eternal weight does not seem to be helping me in my burdened state!
Read on, or rather around in 2 Corinthians chapter 4:
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ….
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.
Please note: I really am just grabbing this phrase and pondering. We really need to read the whole chapter, rather than just ‘pluck’ as I have done here. The whole concept of glory is a weighty one (literally!) that I would love to explore more.
Thank you Lord that you are preparing me for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Help me to endure to the end through these light and momentary troubles. In the name of your precious Son, Amen.
To quote Wendy Alsup again (Practical Theology for Women) writing about the saints in Hebrews 11.
It’s not that their daily problems were inconsequential. Rather they had learned to look at their daily struggles from an eternal perspective that provided the context they needed to appropriately deal with those issues. We too must train ourselves to take our thoughts captive and make them submit to what we know to be true about God. We don’t ignore the details of this earthly life, but we must always read them in the context of our eternal reality.
Now you might have read my rants about my so called burdens and thought:
“What IS she moaning about? She wouldn’t know a burden if it hit her in the face!”
Fair enough, my burdens are certainly very “first world”, privileged burdens to have. But think about the Hebrews 11 guys. Now they knew burdens. Not only did they know burdens, but they weren’t perfect. These are people we know about, we get some of their life stories in massive detail – warts and all – in the Old Testament. I don’t think the expectation here is that we sail through life unruffled, serene as a swan, and certainly not that we feel we have to give the impression of doing this no matter how things are really going.
By the way – on a very stressful morning this week as I was driving along my heart was lifted to see a flock of swans (apparently a wedge of swans if flying in formation, or possibly a bevy according to Google!) flying over head. Thank you Lord!
Things will surprise us and knock us off what we thought was the course. We will tire and suffer illness. Plans will have to change. Basically, life will not always flow along like a gentle stream: ‘merrily, merrily’ burbling through the sunny countryside. Sometimes life will more closely resemble a raging torrent of a river. BUT the more constantly and consistently we live life with an eternal perspective we (as children of God in Jesus, in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit) do have what it takes to be calm and peaceful, to repent of worry, and to rest in the truths that are bigger than the flood waters that threaten to break the banks. As John Piper has reminded me this week (not personally – but via Solid Joys, via the NTV) we need to be busy reminding ourselves (and each other) of the God we believe in and of the promises he has made us.
Of course with swans – they appear serene, but often a lot of paddling is going on under the surface. I want to be the opposite of the swan- a ‘naws’ you might say – active for the Lord, sometimes ‘messily’ so, but underneath – calm in his arms.