Affliction and Glory
A seed cracks and crumbles, dying before it’s remade into a grain of wheat; an infant screams and sobs, enduring the weaning process before he’s transformed into a grown boy; winter smothers and suppresses the fields before they're reborn in spring; Jesus of Nazareth is mocked and murdered before He rises into something brighter and stronger and more alive than He was before. Affliction and glory are woven into the whole fabric of our world and lives. It's what St. Paul won’t stop talking about: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure (2 Cor 4:17)." Or “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Rom 8:17).” The wild and precious truth of Scripture is this, affliction precedes glory. No, it’s more than that. It does not just precede it, it prepares us for it. But it’s even more than that I think. Affliction does not just prepare us for glory, it produces it.