Will this truly pass? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday, in preparation for a possible upcoming operation, I had to go and get a COVID test. It involves a swab being put in each nostril while a nurse counts to ten. I was sure that wasn’t a whole ten seconds, but I wasn’t going to complain.
I had seen Allie get this done before and so I wasn’t looking forward to it for myself. Still, there was the desire to be the tough guy and take it. It reminds me of a time Allie and I went to the Titanic museum and you can stick your arm in water that was the temperature of the water the night the Titanic sank. I thought I would be the tough guy there and show Allie how I could handle it.
I couldn’t last two minutes.
So while the swabs were in, it was horrible, but as soon as they were gone, there was some mild irritation, but then not too long later, I was just fine. I thought about that later that day. That’s the way most suffering is. Something that we can consider so awful and extreme can just a year later be forgotten about.
“Just forgotten about? I lost my child in a car accident years ago. You don’t just forget about that!”
True, which is why I said it can be. Not all evils are like this. What happens to a parent in this situation is awful, but the thing is the suffering while still ongoing doesn’t remain at the same level. You manage to learn to live somehow even if it is difficult and even if there always is that hole in your heart.
Sometimes you will get reminders that will still hit hard. To this day, whenever I visit the gravesides of my grandmother and aunt, I am tempted to cry about my loss still. On the anniversary of the death of a loved one or at holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, an empty chair is a painful reminder.
But you learn to manage.
It’s the same with feelings of happiness and joy. They do diminish over time. Now if you pause to think about something really good in your life, you can at times start to experience the joy again, but it doesn’t last. There is a law of diminishing returns in place.
The Christian answer to this is that all evil will be overshadowed by God in the end and knowing Him for the Christian. There is no law of diminishing returns with knowing Him in eternity because there will always be more to experience. God being infinite cannot be exhausted at all by us. We will spend all of eternity going deeper and deeper.
Our problem often today is we treat things that are temporary, like the evil we suffer, as if they were eternal. We then treat the eternal things, like our after-death, as if they were temporal. There are temporal things here for us to enjoy, but they are all meant to point us to the eternal to enjoy.
Whatever evil you are suffering now, even if it is a permanent evil, the level you are experiencing it at will pass. It will not last forever. There will be a new day eventually and you will find yourself not being hurt as much. Of course, you should still seek to take the steps to recover as much as possible and if it was a victimization you had, the best thing to do is to wake up and say “I am not going to be a victim anymore” and then follow through.
Evil is temporary for the Christian. Whatever you fear will pass before too long. It could be that something you are dreading now you won’t even think about a year from now.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)