by Christa Upton
Ah—summer! Lush green plants, warm sun, wildflowers, cicadas buzzing….
The older I get, the more amazed I am at how during the deepest winter, summer seems impossible.
I would have thought I’d have outgrown this by now, but there is something about the frigid cold, snow, and ice that makes me feel like summer will never come again.
I think that suffering can be like this. Walking through tough circumstances, one can begin to think that better times are never coming.
Are they? Can I guarantee you that better times are coming?
Well, yes and no.
I would like to say that every earthly trial has to end sometime during a person’s lifetime, but I can’t. Some trials literally continue until death.
Ugh—what a prospect.
For an example of this, take a look at Luke 16 (the story of the rich man and Lazarus): http://www.biblestudytools.com/luke/passage.aspx?q=luke+16:19-31
However, notice verse 25, “But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony….’” How much, much better to be Lazarus!!!!
Does that mean that you have to be poor and sick to get to heaven? Of course not. God’s plan for each Christian on earth can be quite different than His plan for another Christian. When God gives monetary blessing, it can be enjoyed and used for great good.
But obviously, being poor (or having other struggles and trials) is NOT a sign of God’s rejection.
And, anyone who believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and is baptized can look forward to the ultimate ending of pure happiness.
What about the hope “for the now”?
Am I personally okay with the thought that I may never get a safe house to recover in, that I may never come to “my summer”? Some days yes, more often no. But if God wants me to get to a place of being okay with this “forever,” I pray that He will help me do that.
As I ponder this, a relief is starting to come over me—I think the relief of letting go of a dream to which I have held so tightly that it became rather a burden. Strange that a dream can become a burden, isn’t it?
I also have to say that this journey with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity has not been as bad as it might sound.
Yes, some things have caused deep grief the depth of which I didn’t know existed. (Etc.)
But in some ways, I feel like Buttercup and Wesley having come out of the horrifying Fire Swamp (in the movie The Princess Bride)—
Buttercup: “We did it.”
Wesley: “Now, was that so terrible?”
Buttercup smiles wearily, and they start to kiss, just before their next difficulty pops up….
God has brought us this far. Whatever comes, He will bring us through that too.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730