Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Every year I wait for the plum blossoms. They come when winter loses its chilly grip and the warm kiss of spring begins to wake the lone plum tree in my yard. Soon, its branches are filled with the glory of thousands of pink blossoms, and every time I pass by, the sight of them fills me with joy.
Yet, the blossoms don’t wait around for long. After only a few weeks they’re packed up and gone, and I have another year to wait for them.
In this passage Paul is also talking about the sight of something glorious. Like a thousand little plum blossoms blowing in the wind, Paul sees beauty all around him. Yet, unlike the plum blossoms, what Paul sees isn’t here today and gone tomorrow. He’s looking at things that last forever.
But what really lasts forever? If you’re like me, you feel like you’ve looked everywhere and have come to the realization that everything in life is here today and gone tomorrow. Your money, your job, your health, your happiness, your friends and family, and even finally your very own body. Everything comes up short. Somehow it disappoints.
Paul claims that there is only one thing that lasts—love. Love always abides and never fails, he says. Everything else will fade away just like those plum blossoms; yet, love will remain forever.
Love remains—like a plum tree that never goes out of bloom. It is eternal. And this is so because the Eternal God is Love.
And this Eternal God gave himself away on a cross so that you could take part in the fullness of his love.
When you turn your sight towards him, you may just find blossoms of his love coming to flower within you—maybe in an extra measure of patience towards someone who is frustrating you. A spark of respect and sympathy in your heart for a person you normally consider to be beneath you. A word of kindness for that difficult customer or coworker or family member. Each act of love will be a flower.
You’ll be like a plum tree, rooted in eternity, every blossom radiating God’s love, never fading, everlasting bloom.