2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
A young missionary lady lamented to discover that she was expecting a baby. She and her husband were ministering in a very primitive location in Africa, where they lived in poverty conditions, and they already had five children. It is such a burden to have children on a primitive mission field. There is never enough money, always too much work, and parents must endure the heartbreak of having to send their children off to school.
When this missionary learned she was going to have another baby, she rebelled against God. Her health was not good, and it seemed more than she could bear.
When it came time for her to deliver she was very weak and there were no doctors nearby. There was no one to leave the other children with, so her husband put them all in the car and drove them into a town where there was a good mission hospital. They stayed there until the baby was born.
When they returned to their house with the new baby, they learned that in the short days they had been away, the dreaded Mau Mau had come. They had murdered every white person in the entire area. The family would have been killed had they been home.
As the lady told the story, she hugged the little baby to her breast, tears flowing down her face. “This little darling was sent by God to save all our lives. Never again shall I rebel against His ways for our lives” (from Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord, 122).
Lessons such as this teach us the importance of an eternal perspective. When we set our eyes on circumstances instead of the promises of God, we always misinterpret things and make wrong decisions. Or we languish in emotional turmoil that is unnecessary. To thrive in the Christian life we must interpret everything in this life in light of the next life. We must live in this temporal world with an eternal perspective.
** From Max E. Anders and Max E. Anders, 30 Days to Understanding the Christian Life in 15 Minutes a Day, 158-59 (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1998).