It’s no secret, life is hard. We spend countless hours and millions of dollars in America trying to figure out how to make it easier. From life hacks to self-help seminars, there is no shortage of people out there willing to offer their services for a buck.
With all this information out there, it begs the question, why try to add to it? Well, I think the words that follow are worthy of writing because they approach the question from a slightly different angle – life is short.
I don’t pretend here to offer a 3 step guide to an easy life. Here, I want to offer a new perspective. And by “new” I mean, thousands of years old. James said, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
The fact that our life can be rightly compared to “mist” as we consider its length might not sound like something we should think about when we encounter life’s inevitable difficulties. But it is. This life is temporary, and our souls are infinite. We are in a temporary state of infinitude.
For us, this life is short, and the next is infinite. The fact that this life is infinitesimally short when compared to the next is the greatest news a human struggler could hear. This news is a reminder that our struggles are incredibly temporary. Much in the same way the pain of a strenuous workout or the displeasing taste of a kale salad is short-lived and usually deemed worth it for the positive things they bring about afterward (ie. health). This life will certainly bring about difficult, and sometimes outright evil circumstances but, the end result is an “eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Think about that phrase for a minute.
God is preparing us for an eternal state of glorification in Him. Imagine the best ‘you’ that you can imagine. Then tell yourself that that ‘you’ is incomparably inferior to the ‘you’ you will be in heaven. It’s true. We will be “far beyond all comparison” in the next life. Happier, healthier, better. To an unimaginable degree. This is because we will be in a state that fully glorifies God – our chief end.
Our hearts and souls yearn to be one with Perfection, our Father. We need Him and He desires for us to be satisfied in Him. Not only are we disappointed with the difficulties in this life, like divorce, depression, disease, and general decay, but we are disappointed with our inability to be what we were created to be – perfect images of our perfect Creator.
But one day, and one day very soon, we will be perfected, placed into eternal glory, and our tears will be no more. Without a shadow of a doubt, when we are in that state, we will look back onto these troubled times we now live in as “momentary, light suffering”. In fact, if we are especially blessed by God and are granted His wisdom and perspective as we diligently seek it, we’ll understand our current sufferings as such even now. This will give us the strength and power to be “more than conquerors” in this temporary infinity.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 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
“Even as it is written, ‘For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
Romans 8:36-37 (ASV)