Saturday, February 16, 2008

These Momentary, Light Afflictions

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.

1 comment:

Steve Burlew said...

Dear Kathy -
I don't know the details of where you and your family are living, but you have ministered to me today through what you have shared here. Thank you.
My name is Steve Burlew, I oversee The Banner of Truth here in North America (The Banner is the publisher of "The Loveliness of Christ" book that you quoted from the other blog). It always encourages me to read of others who are benefitting by that which gets shipped from this building (or our warehouse in the U.K.). May God continue to bless and encourage you all.
Personal Blog: