This Too Shall Pass
As the saying goes, before long the dense forest will become farmland, and the farmland will go back to forest. Isaiah 29:17
Isaiah was assuring the poor and suffering that oppression would not last forever. A time of happiness would come to the humble. Nothing on earth stays the same forever. Of course, some situations can’t change quickly enough. We say, “This too, shall pass,” to encourage others facing challenging times. The thought that everything is passing may indeed be comforting when those we love, or we ourselves, are struggling.
What about the other side of the coin? When things are going well, it’s human nature to want those times to last. It’s okay for the forest to become productive farmland, but we don’t want the farmland to deteriorate. That’s a limited perspective. It’s important for farmers to rotate their crops and allow the ground to lie fallow—that is, left unplanted—at times to restore the soil’s fertility.
We want life to continue problem-free, of course, but then we run the risk of complacency. We may take good things for granted or even become insensitive to the suffering of others. God can bring good out of anything, even our challenging times. Problems bring opportunities for growth, empathy, even hope. I know that impatience festered within me until age and health problems slowed me down. Now I’m acquiring an acceptance of others that I simply could not muster before I coped with my own physical challenges.
There is a time and a purpose for everything under God’s heaven.
Prayer: Lord, help me accept that this situation, like all situations, will also pass.
Reflection for sharing: Are you in a “farmland” situation today or in a “dense forest”? How does realizing that “this too shall pass” impact your approach to the situation?