Temporary Afflictions

Tonight I had a profoundly moving pity party. Like a lot of people, I am tired of the inconvenience and awkwardness isolation has caused in our lives. After cutting my thumb tonight, I fell apart and sobbed. I whined about the arrows on the floor of the grocery I store that kept an orderly flow of traffic. I cried about going to church tomorrow in a parking lot. Feeling very sorry for myself, I wrote a lot about my tale of woe and suffering. Then quietly, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “really”?
During this global pandemic, many people are no doubt inconvenienced. This inconvenience pales in comparison to the tireless efforts of healthcare workers and others on the front lines of this battle. And, let us not forget the families who have lost loved ones to or are coping with the virus. Indeed, the inconvenience of those who are still healthy is not a primary concern. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, the Apostle Paul says, “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (CSB). Right now, we are only enduring a momentary light affliction.
Tomorrow, along with my church family, municipal leaders, and invited law enforcement, our local church will have our service in the parking lot. The whole thing is weird and awkward. But, if Jesus endured the cross for me, can’t I take the weird and awkward for Him? In 1 Peter 1:3, we are told, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy [,] he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (CSB). Church in the parking lot is temporary. The hope we have in Jesus is eternal. In this time of momentary affliction, I choose to focus on the eternal. What will be your focus?

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