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 The WEIGHT Of Glory

     The heartaches and tragedies which can engulf us here on earth, are overwhelming. Yet, when they are compared with the joy we will know in Heaven, our Heavenly Father explains that they will seem small and temporary, in comparison with the weight of glory we will experience there. The weight of glory. What curious wording. Weight being heavy, substantial, solid, a counterbalance. Counterbalance for what? Agony? Yes. Imagine a scale, with a hummingbird feather on one side, and a pile of bricks of gold on the other. The feather is our human anguish here on earth, for our tiny hundred years or so. The gold is the glory we will know in Heaven for all eternity.

* For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory ... for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal. 2Cor. 4:17,18b

     While we who love the Lord sometimes endure great suffering here in this sinful, imperfect world, God is preparing a huge joy for us in Heaven because of it. I have long been intrigued by why God describes this joy as a "FAR MORE EXCEEDING ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY." This is why He describes our trials and sorrows as a "light affliction, which is but a moment" - not because it is not anguish now, because, indeed, it is; but to compare it, to help us comprehend the enormity of the joy and glory that awaits us in Heaven.

     When I experienced my first death of a child - that of my precious, lovely, eight year old daughter Tiffany Chantelle, I could not imagine how God could speak of my anguish as a "light affliction, which is but for a moment." It has taken more deaths, more suffering, and over half a century of living to even begin to comprehend how God is capable of creating such a gigantic joy for me in Heaven, that the very hugeness of it, could make my agony on earth seem small, and short.

     It has been a stunning insight for me.

     The Bible says that "love is strong as death." (Song Of Solomon 8:6) Might I dare to add, I see it as even stronger, since it lasts a lifetime after someone we love has died, and all through eternity, between two people who are both in Heaven.

     Then the WEIGHT of glory in Heaven, is heavier than the grave. Vastly more overpowering than the grave. Infinitely greater than any of our human torment. Taller than Mount Everest. Wider than the Grand Canyon. Huger than all the oceans put together. More lasting than a pyramid. More powerful than a volcano, a hurricane, a tsunami, or a tornado. Brighter than the sun. And, even more amazing to me, infinitely more comforting than the most wonderful human love here on earth.

     When I try to compare earthly torment, with the weight of glory in Heaven, I come up with things my limited earthly mind can understand.

     Is it like a child comparing a small cut on a knee, with a trip to Disneyland?

     Is it like an adult comparing having a cold, with winning a million dollar lotto?

     Matthew Henry's commentary explains: "That which sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. On the other hand, the worth and weight of the crown of glory, as they are exceedingly great in themselves, so they are esteemed to be by the believing soul - far exceeding all his expressions and thoughts; and it will be a special support in our sufferings when we can perceive them appointed as the way and preparing us for the enjoyment of the future glory. (2.) Their faith enabled them to make this right judgment of things: We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, 2Cor. 4:18a"

     We who suffer can take enormous comfort in God's words, His love, and His promises. Our pain will not last forever.

2004 Rosemary Gwaltney