Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Feb. 21, 2009. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.
Each day, I turn to several sources for inspiration and guidance. First, I follow a Bible study guide, then, if there’s time, I read from different devotional guides. It amazes me how often the same idea will be set forth in several different ways.
Twice this week, the emphasis has been on learning to recognize temporary things and keeping them in perspective while concentrating on eternal things.
One writer focused on how we want immediate answers to prayers, only to find God allows us to wait — sometimes for long stretches of time before we receive an answer. “Process,” she said, “is what God often uses to shape us the most. There is a kind of refining of our character and our motives that goes into that process. When it’s completed, we find we are more patient, more discerning or have developed a more balanced perspective about something.”
The same morning, I read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 — “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I took it all to heart and I thought I had grasped the concept and headed to work with a total sense of well-being.
Then, I opened my back door. There were four different weather conditions happening simultaneously — rain, sleet, fog and wind. Spoiled by all that good weather last week, I started to whine and complain. Then, the discipline of morning devotions paid off.
“Weather conditions are temporary,” I told myself. “Many of the things I will accomplish today have eternal value.”
Relying on the Lord’s help to get to work safely resulted in a long prayer time as I drove. I had the opportunity to intercede for some people and some needs I had not thought of in my first prayer of the day.
When I got to work, there was the opportunity to pray with a co-worker who has experienced some recent health problems. Later, a friend whose husband is battling cancer shared some good news about answered prayer where he’s concerned. Throughout the day there were opportunities to share and receive faith and encouragement.
By the end of the day I had walked through many temporary situations, but I could rejoice knowing the temporary difficulties that friends and I experience are working toward an eternal good.