I read this quote today on the Of First Importance blog:
“When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time - suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven.”
- Samuel Rutherford, The Loveliness of Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007) 19.
It made me think of one of my favorite Scripture passages, 1 Corinthians 4. The reason I like it so much is because it helps take my attention off of the present, and places it on things that are eternally significant.
Life isn't especially easy right now, and I know plenty of people who live in far more difficult circumstances than we do. When I get frustrated with washing my dishes in a trickle of cold water, I can just drop by and visit the lady across the street. She has to wash her dishes outside at the public water spigot. That can be a hassle any day, but when the high temperature for the day is 39 degrees Farenheit, it has to be pure misery.
If I let myself begin to dwell on the difficulties of living here--not just the physical difficulties, but the discouragement of not seeing any results--then it's only a matter of moments before I begin to lose heart and grow weary. If I didn't have the hope that present difficulties are "less than one step or stride from a prison to glory", I wouldn't be able to stay here.