I would be rich if I had a dollar for each time someone (a stranger in Target usually) tells me while my kids are in the midst of a tantrum, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Yes, yes, they are, I want to reply – “IF YOU’RE LOOKING BACK ON THEM IN HINDSIGHT.” I want to add. And probably in an all-caps tone of voice too.
Yet it’s true, isn’t it, the way that what’s long in the midst of it seems short looking back on it. In my own stories of suffering, the moments feel impossibly long when you’re waiting to see if your mom’s chemo treatment will successfully eradicate her cancer, or when you’re unsure of the length of bedrest before your twins will arrive, or when you cannot remember the last time you slept more than 2 hours at a time, or while awaiting news of acceptance to your top college, or simply the last time you were sick in bed with the flu.
I think patience is called “longsuffering” for a reason. Patience is to suffer long. But to keep suffering … waiting … hoping for relief, believing it will come one day and that “long” will turn to “short” from the perspective of eternity. So whatever it is for you that feels long today, know this: first, it IS long. But also secondly, it WILL pass and there is grace for the “long” to become the patience of “longsuffering.”
Part of the October writing challenge, extending my favorite Friday writing exercise into 31 days of five minute free-writes. Read more here.