You may have seen "David After Dentist," the video of a young boy recovering from anesthesia after a trip to the dentist. The Internet video has "gone viral," as they say, with over 50 million hits.
At one point, David asks, "Is this gonna be forever?" Children don't realize that anesthesia is only temporary. They don't have enough experience to have proper perspective on many things. Children don't know that common illnesses won't stay with them the rest of their lives. They haven't had enough headaches or toothaches to realize that these things usually go away with time.
It's not only children that lack perspective. To one degree or another, we all suffer from that same problem. When we are facing a crisis, it's hard to know just how important that crisis will turn out to be in the grand scheme of things. What seems so critical today may have been forgotten five years from now.
What if we were to look at things not in terms of years or decades but in terms of eternity? How would that affect our perspective? The highs and lows of life may not seem quite so high or quite so low. Problems would lose their power. An eternal perspective would certainly change things.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). Paul was a man who had been beaten, imprisoned, and shipwrecked. Once a mob threw stones at him until they thought he was dead. He lived a very difficult life, yet felt that his hard times couldn't begin to compare with the eternity that was waiting for him.
Imagine if we could paint a stripe to represent eternity. A stripe with no beginning or end, stretching for miles and miles. If we were to then draw the span of our lives on that never-ending stripe, how big would it be? If we were to make the smallest possible dot, it would be too large. Our lives are nothing compared to eternity.
In another letter, Paul wrote, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17). That's the perspective we need. That's what can help us handle whatever this life can throw at us. No matter how big it is, no problem is as big as eternity. "Is this gonna be forever?" No, it's not. Unless you're talking about your relationship with God, whatever it is, it's not going to be forever. Problems will come and go, but God will be with us forever. If you're not in a good relationship with Him, I'd love to try and help. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our HopeForLife.org website and join the discussion there.
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