The Pastor’s Desk: Suffering is Temporary
How quickly the summer is passing us by! It’s funny how we never say the same thing about winter. I’m sure there are some avid winter fans out there who wonder where all the time went during the coldest months of the year. At least for me, I much prefer mowing the lawn over shoveling the side-walk and lugging bags of salt around to melt the ice. We all have our preferences when it comes to weather and season. And we always wonder where the time has gone when the things we enjoy have come to an end. Truly, when everything seems to be going well, when we are having fun, it seems like the time passes by so quickly. The vacation is already over when it feels like you just started. The new school year is firing up and it seems like you just put away the back-pack. When we find ourselves not having so much fun, longing for something better, time has knack for not being so kind.
More serious than the change of seasons or the end of a vacation… for our daily lives time also seems to drag when we are suffering, when we are in pain, when our heart is broken, and when our minds are weary from stress and anxiety. When it seems like things will never get better, when the medical tests keep giving us bad news, when the body isn’t as strong as it used to be, when the job market dries up, when our sight is failing… you name it… it feels like an eternity when we are in the thick of these trying times. Fun fleets. Difficulty drags. Time is a fickle creature. When we think it’s on our side, suddenly it’s run out on us. When we want it to move along more quickly, the second hand on the clock appears to move slower than molasses in Alaska. We say to ourselves, how long Lord must I endure? How long God can I handle this burden? Why do I have to carry this sorrow?
Unfortunately, we live in a broken and sinful world. And, this means that even we Christians must endure hardship and difficulty. It isn’t that God desires that we suffer, but, it is the consequence of our first parents decision. He allows suffering in this life, in order that grace might ultimately abound so that He may save us out of this world unto a new one. Until that day, we will continue to get caught up in these times, wondering where the good times have gone and when the bad times will finally end. Such is this season in which we live here in this dying world. The Word of God serves to remind us that the suffering of this age is only temporary. It points us to Christ Himself who suffered and died for each of you upon the cross. He suffered and died to rise again that we too would rise again in Him unto new life where all that we will have is time. And there we will never have to ask again, how long Lord? The vacation won’t end, the good times will last forever. This hope is secure for you in Christ Jesus our Lord. His peace be with you.