The Beacon: 2024 01/07

For our present troubles are small and will not last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So, we do not 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 4:17-18 TLT

The grieving process over the loss of a child is an exhausting and long journey, quite different from a passing occurrence. I imagined this journey like climbing a huge mountain, majestic and shrouded in fog, with no reliable footholds on the slopes and cliffs that plunged into the abyss, threatening to toss me into the dark depths of despair. The heaviness of this grief becomes a constant weight, turning every step into a painful struggle, punctuated by moments of overwhelming longing to surrender that reverberates deep within my soul.

Engaging in this uphill battle, I struggle with the contradictory views of the Apostle Paul, whose words echo throughout the ages. Despite Paul's own tumultuous experiences - from facing near-death encounters, enduring imprisonment, suffering physical abuse, surviving a shipwreck, and being abandoned by companions - Paul seemed to diminish the significance of human suffering, referring to it as a "mild and temporary pain." However, it becomes evident that Paul, a skilled orator, purposefully crafted his words with a deeper intention to inspire deep reflection. Through his letters, Paul invites readers to engage in thoughtful discussion. He encourages them to unravel the intricate and profound meanings concealed within his seemingly contradictory statements.

Paul strategically draws on ordinary human experience and emphasizes that suffering is often a heavy and lasting burden. He was trying to emphasize that our eternal inheritance through Christ is unparalleled, magnificent, and highly valuable. In reflecting on the immense weight of life's burdens, Paul invites us to consider this idea: If the promises of heaven, when fully embraced, can transform the unbearable into something temporary and easily transformable, they must be truly extraordinary.

To face each day with hope ~ to maintain the faith that can withstand the challenges of the moment. Only through the unwavering love of our Heavenly Father can the strength to persevere be generated and the assurance that, over time, the burdens of the present will fade into distant memories. Anchored in this divine love, the resilience to persevere in the face of significant loss flourishes and provides comfort. I firmly believe that the journey through grief is not done alone but in the presence of a loving and compassionate Creator.

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