By, Tamah Bryant
Coming to an understanding that "This moment is not the rest of my life" has been life changing for me. I remember a time when it was very hard for me to separate "this moment" from the rest of my life. If I was going through a rough patch I would falsely think "This is how it always is and this is how it always will be." If I was going through a time where everything was falling into place (those seem to happen less often than the previous scenario) I would think I had finally arrived, and figured out how to do life and then be completely surprised when the next trial slapped me across my face, I was left thinking, "This will be the rest of my life."
Then a few truths of God's promises started to settle into my heart. The realization that this life on earth is not my final destination, and the moments I spend here on earth are just that. Moments. Every moment passes. A new moment takes the place of the previous moment. I began to see those moments as snap shots.
A picture in time. Not my entire life. Like waves of the ocean. They make their presents on the shore, but then, they are gone. Some you see coming, others take you by surprise.
PROMISE NUMBER ONE
I have said these things to you,
that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart;
I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I have read this verse dozens of times through my life. But there was one morning that the promise of this verse spoke to my heart. God said I will have tribulation. And if I believed that God always keeps His promises, why do I get surprised every single time I stumble over a stone of tribulation on my path? I began looking at trials differently. I expected them to come. I realized the trial was not taking place because I am just horrible at living life. Or because I was a terrible human. No. I live in a lost and fallen world. The trials I have in my life remind me of that and they cause me to long for heaven. If all were happiness, sunshine and roses here on earth, why would I long for a better place? If I had no tears, how could I look forward to the day Jesus would wipe them away?
PROMISE NUMBER TWO
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. So, on my darkest day when I feel completely alone, my Savior is right beside me. I came to realize the reason I longed so much for Jesus was because of my trials. The times I felt the hand of my Savior around my shoulders the tightest was when I was struggling the most. I felt his light brighten my path because my was was dark.
As I looked back over the course of my life, I saw that every trial that came, also passed.
Trials in my life have been like waves of the ocean. Constant, steady. Some gentle and easy to walk through. Others would smack me flat on my face, keeping me down while I struggled to catch my breath. Over the course of the past few years, I have been flat on my face a few times, literally unable to breathe. Hurt so deep it reached my soul. BUT GOD...rich in mercy, was present every time I got knocked down. Sometimes He would reach down and pick me up as soon as I fell. Other times He would hold me in His arms, keeping me safe while I was down.
The point is - the pain is real. The emotions are heavy. The hurt is suffocating. BUT the hand of God holds me so tight during every wave that even in the midst of a tormenting trial, I am able to see Him and praise Him. I understand this is just a moment and not the entirety of my life. It will pass. I can be of good cheer. This world is tough, but Christ has already overcome it. There will come a day where there is no more sorrow and no more tears. It just isn't today.