Rejoice in the Unseen
I have some friends in a very close family, who were cut off from their son.
I have some other friends with a lot of wealth, who lost all their money.
I also have some friends in very good health, who became acutely ill.
All three things hit at once, and for a period of years. What did my friends do in their unbearable struggles? They turned to the Lord in ways they never had before. They cried out to him. They placed their lives in his hands. They gave the Lord their struggles.
And they discovered a Lord more compassionate, more supportive, more ready to answer their prayers directly, quickly, intelligibly, and lovingly than they ever imagined because they were no longer their own. They were fully his.
They found assurance in the Lord. They discovered new depths of his love. They gained a strength for their lives they had never before experienced. They wore smiles far bigger in the struggles than before the struggles. They began to comfort others in their struggles.
But all this took awhile. It takes time for us to be schooled in God’s grace. It takes trials for us to learn his love. It takes struggles for us to become fully human.
So God waits for the final implementation of the victory won on the cross—for us to be schooled in his grace and love. Paul, who struggled more than anyone, put it this way:
‘I do not lose heart. Though my outer self is wasting away, my inner self is being renewed day by day. For my momentary light afflictions are preparing me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as I 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
Rejoice in what is unseen. Let your struggles drive you deeper into his glorious hands.