Several years ago, while reading Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening," I ran across this quote: "That which seems to us a crushing burden is to Him but a speck of dust." It stuck with me and this morning it flooded my memory as I read this verse.
I've been in a very long and incredibly weighty trial. It has been 11 months of difficult testing and of refining fire - greater than any trial I've ever faced - ever! It seems like I've been in this spot for an eternity. It seems like it may never end. It seems a "crushing burden." That's the way it "seems" but things are not always as they seem and this verse is a good reminder of that fact.
While 11 months seems like a long time when you are chained to "the rack" - it is in reality less than a blip on the radar screen of eternity. A good friend recently reminded me of Joseph's 14 years in prison. From our perspective that doesn't seem very momentary - its 14 years of a life -but from an eternal perspective 14 years is nothing! Blip!!
Take it a step further. Even if we were under the continual torture of excruciating pain and suffering from the day of our birth to the day of our death and all of that happening constantly over the course of an average life span - 70 years - even that is truly only momentary in the light of eternity. Blip!! And friends - we are eternal beings. This life is but a vapor!
Time can seem long and things can seem heavy. However, Paul is reminding us - as was Spurgeon - that crushing weights are lighter than feathers to our God. They are "light"! Here Paul is striving to help us take our eyes off of the momentary and place them on the everlasting. Yes, what we have in the here and now may be hard - very hard - but let us stack up the temporal against the eternal - BLIP!! And let us weigh the weight of the here and now on the scale of the glory that is to come! No comparison!
Matthew Henry writes that Paul "saw their sufferings working toward heaven. They would end at last." Yes, they will end at last and they will end forever and ever.
Let us weigh things upon God's scale that we might find the glory of heaven to be so much greater than the grind of earth.
Henry goes on to say: "That which sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, faith perceived to be light and short and but for a moment. Faith enabled them to make a right judgment. Unseen things are eternal, seen things are temporary. By faith we not only discern these things and the great difference between them, but by faith we actually take our aim at the unseen things."
By faith we take our aim at them and by grace we apprehend them. If you are under the seemingly long and heavy weight of suffering may our gracious God enable you, by grace through faith, to view your times through His eternal lens. If you are His, oh suffering servant, know that He is producing an eternal weight of glory in you through your trial and that eternal weight is a freeing weight beyond all comparison.