“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a] being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT
Led into the wilderness, who does Jesus depend on? I wonder about what Jesus’ inner journey would have felt like. I imagine Jesus, human and tested in every way as we are (Hebrews 4:15), battled with self-doubt.
While all that Paul writes in today’s scripture I acknowledge as true, the experience of momentary troubles feels far more all-consuming than that. In my experience, they test my confidence in God as well as my survival ability. Wired to move from steady state to catastrophe in a single step, my life was lived at the extremes of my temperament whenever trouble struck. Not so today, after learning to trust in God and see life as just one small experience within a far greater picture.
It’s like surgery. The immediate reality is never appetising. Yet the outcome usually gives back so much more than the trauma associated with the medical intervention. There is no way to the overall health improvement that bypasses that intervention; so it is with life. There are storms, and these are for the purpose of refining my understanding of life and eternity. I discover so much about myself and have the opportunity to discover more of the reality of God once forced to move beyond the scripture image or preacher’s carefully crafted portrait. In a world offering me every entitlement to full consumer experience, it comes as something of a shock when the self-styled ‘American dream’ is so far removed from God’s ‘eternal reality’.
How can you fix your gaze on what cannot be seen?
Heavenly Father, change my perspective on this life so that I see from the angle of heaven, of eternity, of your kingdom and love.