This Too Shall Pass
“This too shall pass.”
When our pastor first strode onto the podium Sunday morning, laid out his Bible and announced these words to the congregation, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. Ookayyy…. I quickly glanced at my Bible. What does that have to do with the passage again?
“This too shall pass,” he repeated, softer this time. He went on to read our passage for the day, John 16:16-22. In it, Jesus tenderly warns his disciples that in a little while they will no longer see Him, and yet again in a little while they will see them. Understandably, the disciples were more than a little confused, and Jesus, with the same patience and love, reminded them that “You have grief now, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”
This is one of Christ’s promises to us. It is a promise that we will have grief and we will experience pain and suffering, but we that we will also have hope and joy in Him.
It’s been said before that there are only two situations one can be in: You’re either going through a trial or you’re about to. And it’s true. Part of what it means to be a Christian is to struggle sometimes, and feel discouraged or abused. But Christ can take that pain and grief and turn it into joy, for His sake. God is so great and so wonderful that He can take even the sad things in life and turn them into the greatest source of comfort and joy for His children.
Christ’s plan for us is not for pain and grief. He knows that we will suffer and He knows that in this life there may be trials greater than we think we can bear, but He has given us security and joy in His death and resurrection. There is no obstacle too great, no burden to heavy, that we cannot place it on Him and find our greatest joy in knowing that He is in control. Of everything! We can rejoice despite our sorrows because He knows! Because He is in control. And because He loves us, despite of ourselves, and chooses to be with us anyway.
But that phrase, “This too shall pass”, has a flip meaning to it as well. It means that happiness shall pass also. Your life may be incandescently wonderful and beautiful right now, but it will pass. Whatever brings you happiness today, you may find worthless once this life is over. All of the little things that tickle us and make us smile, even if they are wonderful things, won’t last forever. The pattering of little baby feet will lead to the slamming of teenager’s doors, paychecks will lead to broken boats, and vacation photos will eventually turn yellow and get tossed away. But our relationship with Christ—our happiness in Him—that will never pass. That will only grow stronger as we move through this world, and reward us with happiness forever in our life beyond it.
I think that this one simple phrase has echoed so much with me because I realize how much my life right now will change. I’m fifteen, I’m healthy, and I’m happy. But that will pass. Eventually I’ll grow old, rickety, and grumpy at someone who’s forcing me to take my meds. 😉 But, by the grace of God, my love for Christ will remain, and I will find my happiness in Him, no matter what my physical situation may be.
P.S. On a brighter note, for those of you who I haven’t gushed to yet, I finally got my new camera yesterday! I took a few photos of my sister and her friend yesterday, when I was trying to figure out all of the little details. I intend to use this camera expertly someday! 🙂 Anyway, here are a few of my favorites. Tell me what you think!