For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. Psalm 88:3
A pastor once said to me that, in his experience, almost all of life’s our troubles come in three basic flavors: Grief, Grievance, and Grudge. Over the years, I have added a fourth: Guilt. The four G’s. Four continents of discontent: Grief, Grievance, Grudge, and Guilt. In each we wake in a foreign land, alien and disorienting. We long for home, for simpler times, for comfort. God is nowhere to be found.
In such a land – perhaps you dwell there now – say to yourself, “I am only experiencing an eclipse, but the sun is still there, still shining. The darkness is only temporary. God is not absent. I will come out of it, for God will do it. He is still there, though unseen to me now.”
We do not emerge from the eclipse back in our original homeland, but in a better one. God is working a transformation. Whether in this life or the next, the experience of suffering and weakness produces in us a God-given “weight of glory” not worthy to be compared with the our temporary troubles. 2 Cor. 4:17 Rom. 8:18
The paradox is that only by our weakness do we discover that our weakness is our glory, our blessing. “Every believer is weak. We delude ourselves, as did Peter, if we think that we have any strength of our own. Even without reckoning with sin, the human constitution is frail by divine design. We were always meant to be reliant on God and should have been content to remain so. Our weakness is a fundamental characteristic of our creature-hood.” – The Rev. Roger Salter, Rector of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Alabama
Let us be content to be reliant on God. With St. Paul, let us “fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 5:18