"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."
~ 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
I often think of Noah when encountering change. This is a man who heard God tell him to prepare for a flood. The world that he knew his whole life would be radically changed. The people that he knew as his neighbors, the community that he shopped in, the place he worshiped, and the home where he laid his head to sleep at night; all would be washed away. Everything that Noah knew and saw, would be gone.
What Noah saw and knew as normal, would all be gone.
I remember in 2008, laying in bed, watching outside my bedroom window, as the wall of Hurricane Ike ravaged the community. The wind just never seemed to stop. The rain, torrential in nature backed up storm drains and reached out beyond bayou banks that normally could hold back the waters. Trees snapped, and in the darkness, I could hear the screams to squirrels calling out for their mothers when knocked from the trees. It was a night I will never forget.
For Noah, the storm raged for forty days. The sounds he heard, and the images he saw, must have haunted him the rest of his life. The responsibility was great. The devastation complete.
We struggle each day to hold on. Hold on to our health. Our families. To seek security in our jobs, and to uphold our standing in our community. We join clubs, we volunteer in soup kitchens, and we find ways to make our existence meaningful, all the while we know that this is all temporary.
One of the biggest challenges each of us have is realizing our temporariness on this earth. For Noah, the post-flood experience must have been strange. The security that God would need to provide this family as they began to rebuild the earth, must have been amazing, especially when clouds would appear and that first sprinkle would begin to fall.
It is comforting to know that there is eternity. Although I don't believe any of us can humanly understand the existence of eternity, we can however reflect and know that everything we experience is a brief encounter while living, and what we do in our life can and does make a difference.
We are reminded that faith, hope, and love are cornerstones, with love being the most important. Through this experience, no matter how long or brief our lives may seem, God is forever recreating... always, even when experiencing and after the storm, and beyond into eternity.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.