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I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things these days that feel like they are weighing on me. Here are a few that feel extra heavy:

1. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the atrocities that are happening there because a powerful world leader decided that a neighboring country should belong to them now. They are bombing indiscriminately, and targeting citizens, including women and children. After signing a treaty specifically promising not to do anything like this if Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons. 

2. The situation in Afghanistan now that the ruthless Taliban is in charge.

3. Nigerian Christians are being killed at an astonishing rate (some sources say 12+ per day) with no government response. 

4. The civil war in Myanmar

5. Human trafficking

6. Child labor, gangs, broken families, government corruption, racism, Covid…

The list goes on and on… and on.

It’s hard to look at the world around us and not get thoroughly disheartened by the results of man’s pride, greed and inhumanity to others.

It’s also hard to look into my own heart and not get disheartened by my own tendencies toward self-righteousness, pride, and selfishness.

It is easy to get mired down in the negativity, and instead of looking for hope, to look for distraction, for something to numb the discomfort of seeing the suffering of fellow human beings. It’s easy to want to look away.

It’s easy to grow weary some days, in doing good.

As I’ve been sitting under the weight of the heavy things, I was reminded that Paul says in Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” 

This verse is uncomfortable for me to share, as I realize that I am not “suffering” in any of the ways that many others around the world are. What right do I have to say anything about suffering from my warm home, with a full belly? 

However, the word that jumped out at me in this verse wasn’t suffering, but “glory.” In Hebrew the word for glory is “kavod” which has a connotation of weight or heaviness. I do realize that this is the New Testament and not originally in Hebrew, but that doesn’t change the fact that the glory of God is HEAVY. So heavy, I believe that it makes the weights that we carry in this weary world look like featherweights in comparison. 

So now I have a choice. I can choose to see only the darkness and the despair that comes with that. 

Or I can choose to set my eyes on the glory of God, and the glory that will be revealed in His bride when Jesus makes all things new. In the weighty glory of God there is awe and reverence… and also hope. There is courage to continue to choose to love, to give, and to lay down one’s own self, because the end of the story isn’t here and now.

 

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