"This Too Shall Pass." Is that all there is to it?
Have you ever had someone tell you, “This too shall pass?” This is a phrase used quite a lot! In fact, a very famous football coach used this very phrase in a press conference and quoted it, like many do, as being from the Bible. Now, the media had a field day as they uncovered that this phrase was actually not found in the cannon of scripture. Like so many other phrases, this statement sounds right, doesn’t it? Not to mention, it lines up with certain thoughts in the Bible, and so is used as if it is God’s Direct word to us. Now, like I said, there are certain truths in the Bible that line up with this thinking. Take for instance, Ecclesiastes. In this book God makes clear that there are seasons for Everything. There are seasons to mourn and seasons to rejoice. Yet, do you notice that these seasons still have to play out? A while ago when I was incredibly sick and in bed for almost a year, I had many who would tell me “Don’t worry, This too Shall Pass!” Now, at first, that filled me with excitement that this trial would soon be over, and I just had to simply wait it out, to bide my time. I paid no attention at all to what God might be trying to do THROUGH this. But as the months waned on and the doctors did not have answers, I began to really struggle inside myself. My patience was quickly disappearing and I was almost demanding of God that “THIS TOO WAS SUPPOSED TO PASS!” Do you know what I heard my Lord say to me? “Yes, Ashley, This Too Shall Pass, but you have to first PASS THROUGH THIS!” I was stunned! What do you mean I have to pass through this? And then in a beautiful dance, scriptures began to flood my heart backing up that very truth. Scriptures like James 1:2, which says, “Consider it a Great Joy when you face trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let Endurance have its complete and perfect work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing!” I was reminded of a story I knew from a family that home schooled their children. They had the great joy of seeing a cocoon that held a moth beginning to emerge. The family watched with excitement as this moth began trying to break free of its cocoon. After watching for some time, they became frustrated for this moth because after all its struggle there was still only a small pin hole of an opening. The Moth was struggling greatly and having a very difficult time freeing itself. After witnessing its struggle for quite a while, they decided to “help the moth out.” They took very small scissors and cut down the cocoon so the moth could easily come out! To their great surprise and horror, the moth emerged with a tiny head, a Very Swollen body and shriveled wings. They watched this moth for many days and could tell that it would never look how it was supposed to look, and that it would never fly! They did a lot of research to try and uncover why this was, and what they found out is profound to me. You see, God designed the moth in such a way that the struggle to emerge from the cocoon was of utmost importance. That struggle is what it would take to push that bodily fluid through its body and into its wings, allowing them to open and spread wide for flight. That struggle was used to make that moth into exactly what it was designed to be! Without it, the moth remained only a fraction of what it could have been. You see that struggle would indeed pass for the moth, but first, that moth would need to pass through the struggle in order to emerge the beautiful new creature God had designed it to be! God has the power to remove struggle from our life, but most of the time He will use the struggles that we have to face in order to equip and shape us into the beautiful creations He has designed us to be. Creatures that reflect Him! I think one of the passages that most comes to my mind in regard to the phrase we’re talking about comes from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. It says this, “Therefore, we do NOT give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are producing 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, since what is seen is Temporary, but what is unseen is Eternal.” Yes, This too shall eventually pass, but dear friends, don’t lose sight of what passing THROUGH this will help you become! After finally understanding that while I was passing through my sickness, Jesus had a work to accomplish in me, I began praying that His work Would be accomplished. He was SO faithful and did just that. It turns out we had a lot of work to do during that “Passing Through” time, but I could not be more grateful for it! Anymore, when someone tells me that this too shall pass, I say, “Yes, but in the meantime, I’m going to pass through this.” I want God to accomplish His perfect work THROUGH the struggles I’m facing! Whatever our cocoon is on this earth, the struggles we face are producing in us something Glorious! If God does not provide a way around your struggles, Trust Him to Walk with you THROUGH them! Never forget that we do not walk alone. In fact we know that Jesus is not only with us but PRAYS FOR US!! He prays that when we emerge we will be able to strengthen our brothers and sisters. Those who have passed through struggles in this world have a unique way to minister to those who are currently walking through them! Let God do His Perfect Work!! I want to encourage you this week that whatever hardships you may be facing as you Pass through the struggle, God is at work! He is making you into the beautiful Creation He has designed you to be! Let’s allow Him to prepare us for Flight!
Scriptures to Meditate on this week:
James 1:2, 2 Corinthians 4; 16-18, Luke 22:31-32