"But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;"
I Corinthians 7:29-30
God often says that HIS wisdom far exceeds man's. That His ways are not our ways. That His thoughts, not ours. And in the light of Eternity, things are different than we see on Earth. Often we get caught up, distracted, with what we see around us. By the lives we daily live. Or, even by the expectations we hold.
"Brethren, the time is short". Our lives are like vapors, according to the book of James. They come and go very quickly. And we build so much of our dreams and hopes for happiness on that short vapor. How often we live for ourselves with little thought past that. Jesus says how we are to run a race. And he that would win, must run all.
"It remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;" This part of the verse really struck me recently. We, especially us young ladies, build so much of our hopes and dreams on marriage. We just do. We dream of it. Hope for it. Prepare for it. And when it doesn't come when we expect, we fall into despair and imagine that the worst has happened- singleness forever. We anticipate our lives to be something...and we put a great deal of stake into it. And honestly, we were created to be a help-meet to men. Eve was made from Adam, for Adam. And God said it was good. We were created with the desire to be wanted, to be a partner in work, to build along side, to fulfill someone special, to nourish homes and raise children. And that's okay. In fact, it is healthy. But, this natural desire must be put in and kept in check with what God asks us to do individually. What His will is for you, right where you are now. And what our goal should be as Christians, and as single Christian ladies. According to I Corinthians 7 here, marriage on earth compared to the eternity of heaven, is almost as if it hadn't happened at all. Can you imagine? In heaven, there is no giving or taking of marriage. And even here on earth, the life we live is so short in comparison to what Christ says will be, it cannot even be compared to it. Does it matter that you ever get married on earth? I'd say it matters, not because it is the essential to happiness or earthly life, but because it matters how we spend the short life we have been given. That we were content in the will of God. So what is most important? What does the Lord say will matter into Eternity? Certainly not whether we marry or stay single. But, that we have done the will of God. Christ is our example. He came to do the will of His Father. For us, that could be in marriage. It could not be. But whether it is or isn't matters little in weight of an eternal perspective.
"And they that weep, as though they wept not." Christ also says that weeping may last for the night, but joy cometh in the morning. Life can really hurt. People can really hurt us. Sometimes weeping is a small relief to the pain that we hold within our hearts. Sometimes we weep alone... even for a life time maybe. Suffering is as normal to the Christian, as is the joy of having Salvation itself. Christ commands us to expect it. And so we weep. But this too, in light of Eternity, is short and vanishing. We may weep here. But, someday, it will be as if we had not wept at all. That is amazing to me. The heartaches that seem to crush our world, change our lives, and estrange our paths, are not always remembered or as crucial as they often appear.
"And they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not." Happiness too is fleeting. How deceived we often are into living for what we call "happiness". No one wants to be miserable. We all want to get our own way. Human nature is never satisfied and incredibly self gratifying. But even when we do rejoice, when we do feel happy, or enjoy the preciousness of life, it is still NOTHING compared to Eternity. Having a good time is often so important to us... right now. Or, in the moment. But when compared to what is everlasting? It forces you to stop and think.
"And they that buy, as though they possessed not." Good thing you have your house paid for. Or that you own that car you've always wanted. Or maybe you made that really great career choice. (Okay, I'm being a little sarcastic.) Having a car is a blessing. Having your house paid for is smart. And a good career is practical. I'm not saying these things are wrong. But Christ says, in light of Eternity... it will be as if you never owned them at all. In our life span here, it seems extremely important. It's what everyone works towards. But is it really? Jesus said, with food and raiment therewith to be content. We have far exceeding this.
So, what matters in light of Eternity? What will never die? What is truly important and valuable? Not things. Not marriage. Not happiness. Not hardship. "Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3) Here are just a few things...
God Himself. The Soul. People. Lives. Salvation. Knowing Jesus Christ. Serving the Lord. Rewards. Hell. The lost. Disobedience. Obedience. Serving others. Giving. The Word of God. Relationships. The Church. Time. And how we spent that time.