Exactly six months ago I was sitting in the kitchen when Robert came inside to inform me that he thought Jane had broken her leg. She wasn’t crying, but she looked mad and inconvenienced. The next day we took her to Robert’s clinic where an Xray confirmed that she had, in fact, fractured her leg and would need to be in a cast for at least two weeks. The amount of time that has since passed, the events transpired and the reality we are currently living seem absolutely baffling. How was that just six months ago?
The contrast of our current circumstances to those of the beginning of the year look as different as an alternate universe. I don’t think I’m alone in living a different 2020 than was expected. Our situation is unique, but we aren’t the only ones living in confusion, disappointment and vastly changed plans.
Recently, I confided in a friend that I would like to meet someone that was living the life they always hoped for, was comfortable and had no reason to lament. I stopped myself mid sentence, I realized I had been that person. Six months ago, my biggest inconvenience was needing to carry my two year old around everywhere because she had a full leg cast. Six months ago, I was comfortable and happy. Life was predictable and consistent. Now life is not comfortable or predictable. I look to the future with caution and pray for courage.
Last night, Robert and I sat in Jane’s room and talked about the future. We both agreed that our longing for heaven and eternity is greater than it has ever been in our life. We talked about how as much as we long for eternity, we know God has us here for a purpose. Suffering is part of the Christian life, we knew that before, but we are experiencing it now. To think of how much time I may have to remain on this earth, bearing the weight of loss and suffering seems staggering. But I’m also grateful that I’m not living in the same superficial comfort that I was six months ago. Waiting is hard, but seeking contentment is holy.
Waiting is hard, but seeking contentment is holy.
The painful and difficult turns this years has brought us is not something we hoped for, but it isn’t to be wasted either. Some of the small things I once recognized as inconveniences, I now see as blessings. What I wouldn’t give to carry Jane around everywhere today. I’m so grateful that cast six months ago gave me the opportunity.
Early on I grimaced at the verse in Romans 8:18 that says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” It was hard to read 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” The comparison of suffering now to just six months ago is enough to knock the wind out of my lungs. Our troubles don’t feel light, nor momentary. But if the truth is that it cannot be compared with what is to come and it is in fact momentary in the grand scheme of future glory and eternity, then I should be living with so much hope and expectancy.
Romans 8 goes on to say in verse 25 “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” And 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us how to wait, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” I may not ever be “comfortable” again, truthfully I hope I’m not. The comfort of this world is a dangerous. The temporary comfort that steals my gaze and attention is false and without hope. My comfort should only be found in what cannot been seen. May I learn to be content, but never comfortable in this world again.
May I learn to be content, but never comfortable in this world again.
When the year began, I couldn’t have anticipated how the next six months would unfold. I wouldn’t have dreamed that entering the new year with a full leg cast on my two year old would not only be the least of my concerns, but would in fact be a blessing in disguise. The contrast of a life lived six months ago to today is staggering, but praise God that “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Perhaps your year has not turned out like you expected. Maybe, like me, it is easy to look at the uncomfortable surroundings and situations that have transpired and feel defeated. Be encouraged, we were made for more than this. Comparison is the thief of joy. You will end up prideful or discontent. Don’t compare the year you hoped you would have to the one you are actually living. Instead keep your gaze fixed on the unseen. Keep your eyes set on the Author and perfecter of our faith. Release comfort for the sake of contentment. I don’t want my suffering to be wasted, I want it to achieve an eternal glory.
Comparison is the thief of joy. You will end up prideful or discontent. Don’t compare the year you hoped you would have to the one you are actually living.
I don’t know what the next six months will hold for me, my family or this world, but I trust God. He is sovereign and He is good. That is more than enough to merit contentment.