Rambling Thoughts on Time, Suffering, and Eternity

Source: Pink Sherbet via Flickr
Source: Pink Sherbet via Flickr

The groans of the dying rise from the city,
    and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.
    But God charges no one with wrongdoing.
Job 24:12 (NIV)

My thoughts feel kind of disjointed this morning. Oh well.

I had a great conversation over morning coffee with my friend Matthew yesterday. We began to press into the concepts of time and eternity as God reveals it in His Message. I don’t often stop to realize how transformative the concept of eternity truly is. I say I believe in eternity, but I wonder if I truly comprehend what that should mean to my daily life.

If I believe in eternity, I realize the span of my earthly life is a mere speck on a time line that goes on forever.

If I believe in eternity, I will invest time, energy, and resources in matters of eternal value.

If I believe in eternity, I know that this life is a mere shadow of what is truly real.

If I believe in eternity, I know that all suffering is momentary in a grander scheme, including injustice.

I returned to that conversation in my thoughts this morning as I mulled over Job’s observations. I do not have to look farther than my television or smartphone to be confronted with the hard realities of suffering and injustice. I can scroll, click and view it in the palm of my hand 24/7/365. It’s depressing and it lends itself to the feelings of hopelessness and despair that Job communicates. But, then I found myself thinking about eternity once again.

Eternity does not negate pain or diminish the feelings and emotions which emanate from suffering and injustice, but it does provide context. My suffering is a small part of a larger reality which I cannot fully see or perceive in this moment. Faith in eternity as God reveals it transforms my suffering from senseless to purposeful, even if I can’t quite grasp exactly what that is amidst the painful chaos of this moment in time. That’s what faith is: evidence of that which I cannot see.

3 thoughts on “Rambling Thoughts on Time, Suffering, and Eternity”

  1. “If I do not do anything with yesterday today…tomorrow will be the same repeat of yesterday and today.” Therein lies the dilemma, I remain stuck in the trance of being time-bound with all of the entanglements and restrictions that sin, brokenness and absence relegates to my human condition. The eternal now (Richard Rohr) is that eternity on this side of the sun is the life of redemption. This factors in my past, present, and future which is comprehensive in God’s economy. Thank you Lord for the “eternal now” that knows my past, is doing something with my present, and has a for ordained wisdom for my future! I trust you Lord becomes the journey!

  2. This morning’s chapter reminds me how blessed we are and how many people less fortunate are around us. Today I am challenged to use the many blessings we have to bless someone else. I challenge anyone reading this to do the same. Anonymously bless someone this Christmas season. What a joy!

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