Time is both a blessing and a curse. People say that time heals, or at the very least, it lessens hurt, but in good times, time seems to sweep in only to steal away joy.
The Psalmist notes,
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more. (Psalm 103.15-16)
So it is with seasons of joy here on earth; they come and are gone. Time stops for no one.
It seems the joys in life are few and the pain and boredom plenty. I’ve had seasons when every day seemed bright and blooming. But they didn’t stay, and they left me feeling cold and empty. Admittedly, I am one who dislikes change and am easily driven toward despair, but lately I’ve felt like life is a meaningless string of days I am growing tired of. What’s the point of reaching a better place, if any future days of joy are just as likely to be ripped away?
But I think this is the hope we have in the risen Jesus Christ. When I heard the gospel growing up, it centered on Christ’s death as a payment for sin. While I think that is certainly true, it seems to miss the point and the power of his resurrection, which is the very heart of salvation.
In this life, nothing lasts. The good passes away with the bad. The sorrow in this cannot be denied; Jesus himself wept at the tomb of Lazarus and took pity on the crowds, distressed and dispirited. Yet, this savior rose again out of death, and through him, the whole world is being redeemed. The good does come back, someway, somehow. All that the Lord intended will be again. Through his grace, we are citizens of an unshakeable kingdom.
I’ve been reading this Sabbath poem of Wendell’s Berry’s day after day, because it answers something in me:
Perhaps the good things we lose are not truly lost, but reborn again and again. God’s great work is redemption.