So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
The worst hour of my life was spent being the volunteer dad umpire for a Little League baseball game. I was completely out of my league in every possible way. I would lose track of the count. Thankfully there was an announcer in the booth above home plate who would announce the count to the crowd. I would never be sure about the balls and strikes. I was a terrible ump.
Then my own son came up to bat. He was just getting started in the game and would back out of the batter’s box at the slightest hint of an inside pitch. I finally had to call him out on strikes. He looked at me and said, “Oh dad.” I felt terrible. I was so relieved when the game was over and I could retreat to the car and take my family home!
A friend of mine was once a minor league umpire. He had the personality for it. Black and white. “If the player gets to the bag before the ball, he’s safe. If the ball gets to the baseman before the player, he’s out.” Simple. Straight-forward. I wish it was that easy for me. He didn’t really care what people thought of him. Safe or out. Simple. Clear. I wish I had had a little of his skill set and mental wiring during that Little League game.
My friend had a saying, however, that I found helpful, and with which I concur. Related to the thoughts of the verses above, he would say, “Eternity lasts a long long time.” Indeed it does. Longer than an insufferably-interminable Little League game? Yes. Longer than the years it’s been for many people to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Longer than the 30 Years War. Longer than the Dark Ages. Eternity lasts a long long time.
Whatever suffering we must endure, it’s not worth comparing to the glory that will be ours who trust in Jesus’ promises and are ushered into the realm of his eternal glory!
That means that when we feel bad, and we can’t shake the feeling of gloom, doom, and foreboding, we can see the hand of God preparing an eternal weight of glory for us. We can anticipate a long long time of favor and blessing, celebration and joy. We can keep the faith and strengthen our hearts against the hardships we are facing. We can thank God for this promise and look with anticipation for the Day of redemption and the culmination of all of God’s promises.