This Light Affliction

What's weighing you down today? What burdens are you under that have you sinking down into the ground?

We're all facing circumstances in our lives that press us down and make us a little loopy. I know you know exactly what I'm talking about. Maybe it's that one little thing that frustrates you. That one thing that would make you elated to be rid of.

Paul knew all about those afflictions. He, of all people, could relate to the people, things and events that so easily bring us down and steal our joy.

But here's how he described those circumstances:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Paul had his trials, just like we have ours. He knew what it was like to be hated, busy, tired, hungry and ready to give up. But you don't read those complaints - you read about hope and peace and joy.

His afflictions were still afflictions - he even calls them just that. But he didn't perceive them as heavy anchors tied around his neck. They were simply light. Just a small hindrance for a moment, soon to be shed and forgotten about.

Are we prepared to call our own afflictions "light" and move on? This momentary conundrum may poke at us for a while, but it's a short while. Are we able to look at our own burdens in the long term instead of the weight of the moment?

Those light afflictions, Paul says, are working for us. They're preparing us and growing us for what God has planned next. Think about the weight of glory - how wonderful that must be - and the burdens of the day will seem light, indeed.

Perception is everything, and it's often hard to get past the discomfort of the moment, whatever the circumstances may be. But if we're looking at the things not seen, the things of God and eternity and glory, the inconveniences of the moment don't seem quite so weighty.

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