Light Momentary Afflictions
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all
comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the
things we are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 17-
I have been studying 1st and 2nd Corinthians with a group this summer, and have LOVED it. There is something so sweet about digging into God’s word together each day with other women. This verse though….man. It is kicking my booty.
Some quick background on the text: Paul is writing a letter to the church in Corinth. He is reminding them of how their church should run, the importance of clinging to Jesus in trials and how to live a life that is a new creation in Jesus. Paul is even experiencing persecution and encouraging the church to stand firm, Jesus is worth it.
This light momentary affliction.
No matter what I am facing in my day, the afflictions are light and momentary. Did the kids wake up early and my morning routine didn’t go as planned? Light and momentary. Did I forget coffee? Light and momentary. In 2 seconds, did the kids destroyed the house that took me hours to clean? Light and momentary. Kids fighting? Light and momentary. Burned dinner? Light and momentary. Trouble at work? Light and momentary. Relationship struggles? Light and momentary. Caring for an elderly parent? Light and momentary. Staring death in the face? Light and momentary.
Some of the afflictions we face, really are heavy. They weigh on us, and take up lots of space in our lives. But in light of eternity, they are seen as light and momentary. These things don’t last. Even the heavy things. They don’t stay around. The prepare us for glory.
In my own life, this has been a wrestling point. Life has been hard (and there will be some posts about specifics later), and I have been praying that God would change ALL. THE. THINGS. I could act a whole lot more holy if life was easier. I could speak lovingly, be willing to serve and offer grace and mercy all the day long if I didn’t have to respond to the afflictions.
God whispered to me in the secret place the other day, “What if my not answering your prayers the way you want is a way that I am protecting you?”
Surely no. Surely I know what would be best and I am just waiting for God do the work. Except it doesn’t work that way. I have been wrestling with this sentence from the Lord for weeks. What if? What if He actually does know better than I do? What if His goal is to really mold me into holiness and it cannot happen if my circumstances were easier.
Perhaps, it is more important that our souls are being transformed in the image of Christ, as we look to respond to these afflictions with grace and love. Am I putting more weight into my routines and expectations or do I really believe that I can do all things through Christ—-including walking faithfully when things do not go as planned.
Even this morning was a chance for me to walk this out (and I failed). I woke up late, and Crazy Chicken was in a mood and very aggressive. I was upset with her and she was upset with me. I ended up going into my bathroom, shutting the door and sobbing. “Jesus, just make her better. Take away her trauma. I cannot parent her today.” And the still small voice whispered, “But how will you respond if I don’t?” I went out to the living room, asked the kids to sit down and apologized and asked them to forgive me. 2 out of the 3 kids forgave me. So today I choose to walk faithfully with Jesus. In times where I feel like I can’t, I can cling to Jesus and respond with grace, mercy and love.
Life is hard, but these afflictions are light and momentary. They are not heavy and they do not last forever.
And all the people said AMEN.