22 Mar 2016
Time and distance give us a better vision. The disciples were confused there by what Jesus was saying to Judas. Simon Peter didn’t really know what he was getting into. Even the Prophet Isaiah hints at the thought that: “I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength.” When we’re “in the moment,” we don’t always see clearly how everything will turn out.
During Lent, we may have struggled with something personal. We’ve been “in the moment” of the “Lenten desert;” working through the challenges that are particularly our own. And, along the way, we may have wondered: “What’s the point?” What’s the point of our Lenten disciplines? Or: What’s the point of, say, exercise or eating well? Or: Why should I struggle to forgive someone, when it’s easier to just hold a grudge?
When we’re “in the moment” of living the trials of life, we don’t always see clearly how it’s all going to turn out. We might even be tempted to give up—and, perhaps, maybe we should (if the struggle does more harm than good). But, sometimes, we’re in a trying situation in life because God has something better in store for us when it’s over.
Why exercise and eat well? For a better quality of life. Why struggle to forgive someone? To free yourself from the chains of resentment. Why “stick to it”—whatever “it” is—when we’d rather not? Well, as the Prophet Isaiah puts it: “My reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God.” And Isaiah can say that because he stuck with his struggles and came to understand their purpose in his life—they drew him to rest more solidly in God.
And we aren’t totally blind. We can each look back on the tough times of life, and in hindsight we can see how it all turned out. We made it through and we’re still here, worshipping our God, growing in love and faith. And that’s important when we get buried “in the moment."
Remember how God has worked in the past. Trust that God is working in the present. And look forward with faith to that day when God will make everything . . . clear.