Have you ever been in a place where you thought, “If I just reach this goal, or this milestone, or get past this date-in-time things will get back to normal. Then I’ll get to relax”? What happens when you get there? Sometimes it happens. Sometimes the finishline is really a finishline. But what happens when those times are not what you had hope for?
Recently, I have had that experience… I came off a period of exams, and papers, and personal projects, and thought, “when all this is over, everything will be easier, I’ll be able to relax and focus and regain my strength…” The problem is that it didn’t happen as I thought it would. I had to get right back in the game and get ready for another intensive class and start working on other projects. It was kind of overwhelming and daunting. And really disappointing.
There have been times where I have had “push” periods (as I call them) and then rest periods. That is the regular cycle of work, and rest, and during moments of intense stress you have something to which you can look forward. But about when there isn’t something like that.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul reminds me that even if we find rest here on earth it is temporary, and we should not expect anything to last, he says instead, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” The crazy thing here is that the “light and momentary troubles” that Paul was talking about was much more intense persecution, and stress, and suffering than probably any of us will face. So, what are my stresses to God?
This is not to diminsh our problems, because God knows even the number of the hairs on my head, so he cares about flat tires, tests, and work projects… But that is the point. If we look to Christ, look to God and the blessings that He has already given to us, then we might find we have more energy, and refreshing than we think.
In my own case, I am so blessed to have the opportunity to go to school. I am so blessed that I have a wonderful job and family that I care about and that cares about me… so much so that I stress about them. Even as I write this I realize that I should be and really am energized by the power that God has already demonstrated in my life such that my present “trouble” or stress does seem temporary.