"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
I've written about this chapter a lot, and even these exact verses, but today this verse struck me again... I think because it seems to sum up the whole challenge of this life. To let go of the seen for the unseen. Not in a hokey haunted house or I-now-live-my-life-by-consulting-psychics way, but a faith sort of a way. :) It's a challenge at times to talk to people who have no faith in anything that they can't see or touch. There is a wide mental gap about what is real and what is a fable. It's hard to get anyone who thinks that you are imagining reality to take you seriously. :)
And while that is certainly a challenge, when we're close to God, all of those things that we can see or touch seem so hollow and faded compared to the reality of God. The whole "far more exceeding and eternal" reality. :) None of these afflictions matter... not really. They are hard, of course. We lose jobs, and houses, and loved ones. It is harder to feel them there when we can't see or touch. We experience pain and sickness and sorrow. And sometimes it is really hard to see past our feelings... to God. But despite what it seems like in our world where we've learned to trust in eyesight and tactile evidence... God is much more real than any of this. Have you guys read "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis? It is great, and it illustrates this gap in reality pretty well. The main plot is about this guy who finds himself in Hell, and he decides to take a bus ride to see Heaven. And he gets there, and he tries to walk around, and it hurts. The grass is more real than he is, and it is hurting and cutting his feet. :) He realizes that he will have to do a lot of work in order to interact with this environment or the people there. ... And, I think, this is exactly what we have to face in our lives. We're children compared to God. We're not capable of handing the power that he has on that level. Our intellects are microscopic beside his, and we wouldn't possibly be able to comprehend all of reality if he blessed us with the sight of it. Our weak bodies couldn't even endure his presence. And so, we're here. We're here to learn to be a little tougher... to be at least as real as the grass. :) Learning to control our own bodies is a good way to start learning the control that God needs. Studying God's word, having faith in things that we can't see... knowing that there is something beyond this... all of this is good practice and preparation for learning to understand all that God understands and seeing what he sees. Asking for and receiving blessings from the Lord helps us to understand how God's power is used. Today, let's focus on the eternal rather than the temporal, and accept our temporary afflictions... and learn from them more about how to grow up into a better reality.