When Coach Mike Ditka was fired by the Chicago Bears in 1992 after a 5-11 season, he said something very profound in his departure speech... "This too shall pass."
This proverb has been attributed to Persian poets of the 12th century and possibly to Solomon, the King of Israel, who lived some 900 plus years before Christ.
I cannot be positive about the exact origin of this statement but I do know that it contains great wisdom and value.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
Everything in life will pass. Whatever is going on at any moment will eventually pass away!
Jesus reminded us that even heaven and earth will pass away:
HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL PASS AWAY, BUT MY WORDS WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY.
The Apostle John also encouraged us to avoid the love of this present world:
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 AND THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY, AND THE LUST OF IT; BUT HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF GOD ABIDES FOREVER.
1 John 2:15-17
It can be sad to think that good things will pass away!
We may have situations in our lives or moments that we wish we could hold on to forever!
Many parents feel sad when their children grow up because they enjoyed raising them so much. We may have a job we love, but times change and for whatever reason, we must move on. We may become too old to do some of the things that used to bring us joy. Many circumstances can change in this life and force us to move out of a place of great enjoyment and contentment.
I don't believe this is how God intended us to live. It is rather the result of the curse which came from sin. Sin is at the root of all of the chaos and uncertainty in the world. In the beginning God pronounced His creation to be "very good." It was only after sin that creation became so chaotic!
The good news is that bad things will also pass away. One day God will bring restoration to this fallen world and bring beauty out of the ashes!
As Christians, even in our everyday lives, if we will remember that "THIS TOO SHALL PASS," we can remind ourselves that better things can come tomorrow!
On a practical level, we have all seen days which pressure us to look at the bleakness of the future. We look at what's ahead and ask ourselves, "What is the point?" It seems that nothing could ever change to make life good again!
Negative circumstances can intensify these feelings of hopelessness. A loved one passes away; we lose our job or our financial security, or we become ill. If we look only through the eyes of practicality, we can become very discouraged.
But if we look through the eyes of faith, we can once again see hope in our future!
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
What have we to look forward to?
- My bank account is low.
- I am ill.
- My children are grown.
- I have no retirement saved.
- I am in debt.
- My company is closing.
- The economy is bad.
- My spouse is cheating on me.
- I am depressed.
- Fill in the blank!
There are certainly many things in life which can discourage us if we only look at the practical side of life!
But God is not only a practical God - He is a supernatural God!
No matter how old you are, how behind in the race, how ill-equipped you think you may be or how bad your future looks - GOD CAN CHANGE ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!
- Part the Red Sea!
- Bring water from a rock!
- Stop the sun!
- Heal those who have been ill for many years or were born blind!
- Cause a 99 year old woman to give birth!
- Cause a virgin to give birth!
- Bring tax money from a fishes mouth!
- Change your circumstances in ways you cannot imagine!
- Bring beauty from ashes!
NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD!
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
This is not to say we can simply blow off every difficulty or tragedy in life with some kind of positive, cheery attitude. It is unhealthy to pretend nothing is wrong when we are suffering - but we must choose to seek that which is eternal and focus on that!
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
All that happens in this life WILL PASS AWAY but God has promised that some things will remain eternally!
...MY WORDS WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY. Matthew 24:35
...HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF GOD ABIDES FOREVER. 1 John 2:17
...NOW ABIDE FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, THESE THREE; BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS
LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:13