So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthian 4:16-18
We do not loose heart…
What we see is such a poor reflection of what is to come. Some days all we see is heartache and loss. The dark can seem impenetrable. We are told in Scripture that light ultimately triumphs over dark, but there are days when the darkness seems to win.
The discordant notes of this life sound like they have taken over and threaten to derail the beauty of the music of life. The cacophony of sound threatens to overwhelm my migraine prone head into utter misery.
Dark and jarring sound are two images that seem at first contrary to a migraineur. Dark when one has a migraine is a relief. A cessation of pain comes with the evening darkness. Yet too much darkness does not really solve the problem, but merely hides it. Night does not reliably guarantee the end of a migraine.
Atonal music needs a harmonic resolution to feel complete. The amazing thing is that minor and discordant music can resolve into something which is beautiful in its entirety. Life has periods when it becomes atonal. It can seem as though the discord is consuming all of a life when it is really but a movement, adding depth and increasing the relief and sensation of a resolution.
It is hard to believe in the music of life, the absolute goodness of God and His never ending grace when it seems as though your life is surrounded by a modern symphony orchestra with each musician playing their own thing and creating an unbearable chaos. Family, friends, work associates, fellow Church members everyone needs a piece of you, something different from you, all at the same time. Life, sickness, hurt, need, poverty everywhere we experience pain…where is the harmony?
What we can hear, what we can see in any one moment is limited. We are finite beings. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians, that what we see in the dark is not all that is there. All that we hear is not all that is sounding. It is cold and dark, it is March. The noise of town is less than in the summer, but still ever present in the day. But if I listen for them I hear the birds singing of spring to come. Only if I listen for them. When the traffic roars, my Dad’s tv blares, my sister’s stereo tries to drown it out and my head throbs, I forget to listen for the birds. Hope is always singing.
We do not loose heart, not because we are protected from life’s storms, but because we remember to listen. The affliction of the present is not all that is. God is still good and loving. Some day all the pain will fall away and the joyous resolution will overtake all of creation, and we will see how the world has become better through pain, the pain of the cross.
In Lent we remember that loss is not all that there is, but that sacrifice is the road that redeems and restores. Waiting is hard. Believing in a spring or hope that never seems to come can test us to the breaking point. Yet, because of Easter we do not break. We believe in what is not yet come, for He has come.