The Longing for Something Better
As humans, we often miss the forest for the trees in times of hardship or uncertainty. The chaos of life has a way of stealing our attention and focus, making it difficult to reflect on the circumstances that we find ourselves in.
The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating for many, to say the least. I've watched the waves of emotion sweep across our country. From panic and fear to frustration and anger, there seems to be a general consensus that things are not the way they are "supposed" to be.
And yet, as Christians, this should come as no surprise. In fact, a fundamental truth of the Christian life is the tension of living in a world that "should not be," a world that is plagued with circumstances that we rightfully long to change. COVID-19, if anything, serves to show us a contemporary representation of what we should already know to be true. This world is not what it should be.
The Apostle Paul knew this well as he penned these words to the Corinthians: "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 Corinthians 4:17-18).
According to Paul, the sense of longing that many of us feel for things to "go back to normal" is a glimmer of a deeper spiritual reality. The "momentary afflictions" that we face in this life are meant to reorient our gaze to "an eternal weight of glory," things that are "unseen," and things ultimately that are "beyond all comparison."
The ache for wrongs to be made right, for health to be restored, and for "freedoms" to be reestablished is but a shadow of the gospel truths that all Christians face as sojourners in this foreign land. We do not live for the things that are "seen." This world and everything in it will one day pass away. We live for the things that are "unseen," the things that await us one day in future glory.
So, as we continue walking through this quarantine season, don't miss the forest for the trees. The longing for something better, while heightened in this season because of COVID-19, is ultimately a profound truth that Christians experience everyday. We should long for the day when Christ will set us free once-and-for-all from our "light momentary afflictions." Then, my friends, wrongs will be made right, health will be restored, and freedom in Christ will be realized in ways that are "beyond all comparison."