July 14th, 2020 Reflection
By Renee Villa, Campus Director of Spiritual Care
“I consider the sufferings of this present time as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” – Romans 8:18
In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah tells us that the Lord sends the rain, the snow and the seasons down to the earth to help make it fertile and fruitful. Though we may prefer certain weather conditions, all types of weather are necessary for healthy growth. We need:
The cold of winter to provide rest for the soil, the storms of spring to stir things up, the summer sun to provide growth, and the fall for harvest.
This is compared to God’s word in every season of our lives, providing encouragement through every life transition. The promise is that God’s word will not return empty, but will achieve the end for which it was sent.
There is also a familiar scripture passage in the New Testament about the farmer who sows seeds everywhere. Some seeds fall to the side and are eaten by birds, some fall on rocky ground and never take off, some sprout up quickly but the roots are not strong, so they scorch. Some plants grow but are choked by thorns. However, some seeds do fall on rich soil and produce thirty, sixty and one hundred fold.
From season to season, we can never totally understand the rhyme or reason for one plant to flourish. Some plants can have ideal conditions and never flourish, or surprisingly flourish during the worst conditions; we have all seen a flower spring out of a crevice in the asphalt. These growth patterns can be a metaphor for our dreams and aspirations…not every desire is meant to be fulfilled. Some of our dreams may never get off the ground, some may work for a time, and some may unexpectedly flourish.
From our losses in life, we can experience great pain. Rich soil comes from nourishment and consistent tilling. Tilling breaks up the soil and allows it to receive nourishment. Painful experiences are the “tilling” of our lives. Certain losses are greater than others. In time though, with prayer and reflection, one can grieve a loss and perhaps understand the blessing in the experience. Even if we never understand our suffering, we have the promise of Romans 18:
“Consider the sufferings of this present time as nothing compared to what will be revealed in the next life.”
A profound statement! Knowing there is something greater to be revealed can be a source of comfort in times of despair. If you take the time to fully appreciate and accept the pain of any experience, and then ponder this statement, it gives hope and encouragement. The reverse is also true:
“Consider the joys one experiences as nothing compared to the joy of heaven.”
This is God’s promise to us…something to deeply reflect upon. Peace.