I wrote this blog post on May 7, 2012, not quite five years ago. I had no idea that by this point, I would hardly be walking, using a scooter 95% of the time and unable to move without a walker for the rest. Pain and serious weakness are my daily companions. As I noticed the counts on my most popular blog posts and discovered this one among the top, I am grateful that the wisdom God gave me five years ago is even more true today. And I am grateful that I can even minister to myself . .
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that help us navigate life. The old, old adage “this too shall pass” is one of them.
No matter what trial, grief, trouble or challenge we face, there is comfort in reminding ourselves that it’s temporary. Some are very short-lived—the time crunch of a deadline, the pain of recovering from surgery, waiting for results of a test or an application. We can remind ourselves, “By this time next week (or month), this will be behind me. This too shall pass.”
Some are very long-term—a permanent disability like my polio or my dear friend Lael Arrington’s painful rheumatoid arthritis. The death of a loved one, or a marriage, or a cherished dream. The realization that God is choosing to give us grace for, not deliverance from, our thorn in the flesh. Even so, when we remember that our time on this earth is short compared to our life on the new earth, we can remind ourselves, “A hundred years from today, this trial will be just a memory. I can either be glad for how I handled it, or regret the short-sighted choices I made. Because this too shall pass.”
It’s helpful to remember that even the good times, the fun times, the stress-free (or low-stress) times will also pass, because life is like that. When we remember everything is temporary, it helps us hold onto sweet moments and days with a looser grasp while reminding ourselves to be grateful for the blessings we’re enjoying because “this too shall pass.” If we are mindful of the transience of the good days, we won’t be devastated when they dissipate.
“This too shall pass” is one way we can live in light of eternity, keeping our earthly life in perspective. When the hard times come, whether moments or years, we can comfort ourselves with the truth that “our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:17-18).
When the good times come, we can give thanks for the way they point like signposts to heaven’s unending joy.
Which will NEVER pass away!
This blog post originally appeared at
blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/this_too_shall_pass on May 8, 2012.