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 Cor. 4:16-18)
I read these verses in the introduction week to the new Thistlebend study we just started, In the Garden, and the Lord had me go back in my quiet time to think about it more. My husband and I are still on this adventure that the Lord began for us a few weeks ago. It has been quite the roller coaster of anticipation and quick decisions and now we’re in more of a waiting period to see what the Lord will unfold next. Like I mentioned in my last post, the potential at the end of this ride is something my husband and I are greatly desiring and the Lord has been revealing to us how much emphasis we are putting on this mundane thing that He may or may not give to us. I thought I was okay with either outcome, but this past week, for a brief time, it appeared like all the potential was going away, and I realized that I wasn’t okay like I thought I would be.
As much as I hate to admit this, when my husband was giving me the updates for the day that included that deals were falling through and communication was lacking, I tried to pretend like I was okay. I tried to pretend like I didn’t care because I was going to praise the Lord regardless. But my quiet demeanor, sharp tone with my husband, and an overall annoyance the rest of the evening proved differently. I was being a brat and pouting about the circumstances all the while trying to muster up the faith and do what I knew was “right” by saying, “Oh I’m fine; this is what the Lord wants.”
I confessed to the Lord the next morning my frustration and pride as He opened my eyes to reveal to me that while I say I’m trusting Him with whatever outcome He brings, I was clearly not living that reality. The next day also revealed new information and new clarification that brought me and my husband to the next crazy turn of our adventure and kept the dream we are desiring alive. As I sat in awe of this and what the Lord is doing for us, in spite of how I was acting, the Lord brought to mind a Scripture I had read in The Holiness of God: “Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people” (Deut. 9:6).
I sit here and type, honestly in awe of His grace. I looked up the meaning of the word transient the other day when reading the verse from 2 Corinthians. Synonyms included short-lived, fleeting, momentary, here today and gone tomorrow. Circumstances here on this earth are literally here today and gone tomorrow, but yet I put so much thought, energy, and weight on what is happening right in front of my eyes. Scripture–the truth–actually tells me that weight really lies in the weight of glory in eternity with my Savior, without whom I am nothing.
I love hydrangea bushes, those huge snowball bushes that are popping up all over the place this time of year. For my first Mother’s Day, my in-laws let me pick out something from a landscaper in town (a family tradition each year) and I picked out some hydrangea bushes that my husband and I are waiting to plant. They haven’t been blooming like others that we’ve seen and I’ve been so disappointed, but I also must confess that it has been our fault due to busy schedules and not taking the time and/or intentionality to water them. Any time I think about watering them I get lazy and think, “Oh I’ll water them tomorrow.” The other day I pulled into the driveway and was so excited to see that there were buds on these bushes even in the midst of the leaves falling off and yellowing because they were dying. The Lord used these bushes to reveal to me, once again, that He alone provides the growth. It didn’t matter that my husband and I weren’t watering these bushes and that they were dying. If the Lord wants them to grow, they will grow. God is God and I am not. What the Lord is giving me and my husband right now is not the gift of a transient, earthly thing, but actually the eternal gift of seeing Him and His grace, a deeper understanding of Him and His character. Honestly, I can’t fathom His love and goodness, but I know it’s worth praising regardless of the transient circumstances that He may allow.
I am so weak, my mind and eyes are so deceived so easily. Praise God for having His way in spite of my frailty not just in earthly things but with eternal things. Lord, will you help us to look to the things that are unseen—to you and you alone in the midst of our momentary circumstances, good or bad.
Planted for His Glory