Talking with a sister yesterday who’s a little older than me. While I’m still a few years away from my “threescore years and ten” (Ps. 90:10 KJV), she’s on the other side of it and feeling a bit more each day the effects of having to leverage her “extended warranty” more frequently. Diagnose, repair, and/or replace needing to be leveraged more these days than it was a few years ago. I’m praying for her next doctor’s appointment.
In the course of our conversation she said something like, “I can’t wait to go home.” Home as in heaven. Home as in with Jesus. Home as in face-to-face and then face to ground in a body that won’t have any problems with such feats of flexibility. She’s not suicidal, she’s hopeful. Not done with living, just can’t wait to be living at the next level. Weary? Yes. But in wonder? Yes even more. The wonder of what it will be like to be “absent from the body yet present with the Lord” (2Cor. 5:8).
Yesterday’s conversation came to mind as I read this morning in Romans.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(Romans 8:18 ESV)
Whatever the sufferings are . . . regardless of how severe they are . . . doesn’t matter how they compare with what others might endure . . . whether internal, external, or a combination of both . . . when Paul does the math, when he takes a moment to compute, calculate, and consider the relative weight, he concludes,
. . . the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
No comparison! Yes and Amen!
We don’t all endure the same hard stuff, but we all endure hard stuff. Physical, emotional, relational, spiritual . . . there’s enough sufferings to go around for everyone and, according to Paul, for everything. For Paul also writes, “that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Rom. 8:22). And so, creation groans. And we groan too.
. . . we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons [and daughters], the redemption of our bodies.
(Romans 8:23 ESV)
That’s what the sister I talked with yesterday couldn’t wait for, the redemption of her body. While it is well with her soul, it is still wearying in her body. And so, while living life here as fully as she can in a body that is showing signs of years of wear and tear, she also eagerly awaits the final phase of her adoption. Knowing that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Not worth comparing. Beyond comprehending. We can only imagine what it will be like (thanx MercyMe). However that day when we’re with Jesus presents to us, the weight of its glory will, by comparison, render the weight while waiting insignificant.
So keep on keepin’ on, weary saint. It’s gonna be worth it all. No comparison.
By His grace. For His glory.