“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
This is a lovely spot in spring – it faces south, and I often sit at the wrought-iron table and enjoy a cup of tea as I plan what to seed where, and when.
I may not be much of a noticer, but I have noticed this: it’s not that I wouldn’t be up to the adventure of an outdoor spot of tea.
It’s that I can’t seem to find the table. (There seems to be a wee pile of snow obliterating the entire terrace, in fact.)
Temporarily, this poses a gardening – and tea consumption – problem. Much snow equals minimum gardening or thoughtful beverage sipping. There is just too much frozen water standing between me and my garden activities.
But I’ve been through this before.
Temporary is the key word here. I know very well that in a few months, the snow will have turned into lovely moisture that the thirsty ground will guzzle and slurp to its heart’s content, revealing once again the lovely sitting area, and a whole new season in which to guzzle tea by the pot.
No, I won’t look at the trouble I can see now; rather, I will fix my gaze in what cannot be seen just yet – spring. A time when the sun and breeze will bring warmth back to the frigid skies and winter will become a distant dream.
In the same way, it would be much more healthy for my spirit if I were to look past the harsh circumstances under my nose and strain for the reality to come – a reality just as sure as the June tea parties buried beneath five feet of snow.
Sometimes I forget that this reality – where I am trapped in a decaying body in a decaying world full of decaying morals and rotten injustice – is just the shadow. The real deal is yet to come. The real deal, where I am restored to the version of me dreamed up by a good God, filed with light and life and purpose and perfection, is what I am preparing for every bit of every day.
And as I wait, I am learning. Learning how to respond to the tangle of chaos. Learning to wait and trust and rest in who God really is. Learning to apply truth. Learning to love well.
Because just as sure as this snow will melt, the cold will fade away, and the teapot will come out, so I will be made forever new.
For the things we cannot see will last forever…
Learn to balance the here and now with the promise of what is to come with me?
Father, how easy it is to see the snow and feel the cold and forget that spring is in its way. In the same way, remind us to reach it for and develop what is unseen in order to prepare for a glorious future with You. Amen.