It was the best of sadness, it was the worst of sadness….
When the Apostle Paul wrote this, there were things in His life that were causing him pain or making him feel weak. Whether these were physical or emotional, or some outward problem we are not told. But in the verses before Paul says he has prayed for them to be taken away, but God has allowed them to remain for a reason. The reason is to demonstrate God’s grace.
What is the thing you most hate to do? It might be cleaning the oven, or going to the dentist, or attending a dance recital. But don’t you do any of these when it is for someone you love? In fact, you may even do those things with some measure of joy when you know it is for someone you love.
In the past few weeks most of us have thought about “cleanliness” more than we ever have. We have guarded the air we breathe, we have avoided touching our faces, and we have become experts at washing our hands. We are apprehensive we might catch a harmful virus, so we have changed many of the things we would normally do.
We are fixated on being able to see everything. We construct microscopes and particle accelerators in order to find the tiniest specks of reality. We peer into what is smaller and smaller until we can see only energy and forces interacting. We send giant telescopes into space so that we can gaze across the cosmos. Farther and farther, and eventually our stare is lost to time and distance.