Light and momentary?? Really Paul??
I chuckle writing that. How many times have I contemplated this verse and struggled with accepting it? I don’t know about you, but the hardships of my lifetime have not felt “light.” Nor have they felt “momentary.” So many of them have seemed to drag on interminably. Are you there with me? I bet you are!
Let’s think for a moment, though, about the human instrument God used to write these words. In this same book, Paul lists out his own hardships. I’m going to put them in a bulleted list for you, extracted from 1 Corinthians 11:23-29:
- In prison frequently
- Flogged severely
- Exposed to death again and again
- Five times, received from the Jews forty lashes minus one
- Three times, beaten with rods
- Stoned, left for dead
- Three times, shipwrecked
- Spent a night and a day in the open sea
- In danger from rivers, from bandits, from his fellow Jews, and from Gentiles
- In danger in the city, in the country, and at sea
- In danger from false believers
- Hard labor, often going without sleep
- Hunger and thirst, often going without food
- Cold and naked
- Daily the pressure of his concern for all the churches; inwardly “burning.”
In other words, if anyone had a legitimate reason to not view his sufferings as “light and momentary,” it would be this man. And yet, there we have his own words on the matter. That’s exactly what he called them. Light and momentary.
Today as I thought on these words of his, Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. He told me, “This is My perspective of your earthly troubles. This is the correct perspective. This is the perspective that reflects true Reality.”
Through his suffering, Paul had matured so much that he had grown up into God’s perspective on the matter. He could actually see life through God’s lenses. He could see everything he was enduring as a blip on the timeline of eternity. He could see the glorious eternal bliss awaiting him.
Only Holy Spirit can do this for us. Only the Spirit of the Living God can illuminate the eyes of our hearts to see life this way.
God is no respecter of persons. He shows no favoritism. What He did for Paul, He will do for you and me. Let’s ask Him. He will give us eyes to see life through His lenses.
Do you think about the brevity of life frequently? Do you like to spend time meditating on the reality of heaven?