All that grieves is but for a moment;
All that pleases is but for a moment;
Only the Eternal is important.
Most is of us know these facts, but I want to remind us of them. The Eternal in anything is the unseen, the spiritual. A trial comes and it will then pass. In a few days, months, or years, we will have forgotten it. But the way we meet that trial– our inner attitude toward it– belongs to the things that are eternal. It will matter ten thousands years from now if we conquered or were conquered by that temptation to impatience, faithlessness or worry which came when the trial rushed upon us.
It does not seem so now. We feel “If only I could have that— that joy on which my heart is set– then I would be happy.” But these words remind us of something we know is true, and yet often forget– the pleasure will pass; it is temporal. There is nothing abiding in pleasure, but there is something abiding in our attitude toward that pleasure. If we say, “I must have it; I will not be happy if I cannot have it”, then even if we did have it, there would be no lasting, eternal gain, but only a dreadful and eternal loss.
There is a verse about this in the Bible: “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:15) Let us ask that this word may never be true of us.
– Amy Carmichael