When Vickie and I lived near Galveston, the time from June through November kept our attention.

It was hurricane season.

When a storm would spin up in the Gulf, I started tracking the path (this was in the pre-computer days). It would twist and turn. Is it coming, or will it veer off?

Some were close calls. Others were non-events that lulled many into a sense of complacency.

Each would come but then go.

Such is true of life’s storms.

For two years, the pandemic kept our attention. It wheezes on. As it continues, people ask, will it end.

Yes. But when? Who knows?

We find ourselves sick. Some are irritations like colds and flu. Others are severe. Cancer. Those seem to linger and, in one sense, be with us until the mortician closes our eyes.

New parents drag themselves out of bed for another night with a crying baby. Will they end?

We keep asking in trying times of life, “will this ever go away?”

In 1859, Abraham Lincoln made an insignificant speech at the Wisconsin State Fair. He was not yet president, but the country lurched toward a war that would test the mettle of its soul.

The speech was on the mundane subject of agriculture. Lincoln went off-script, rather than sticking to his text, to tell a more prophetic and profound story.

An Arab king called his wise men to him. He challenged them to give him a single sentence that would be true in any circumstance and was always relevant.

It stumped many. But one knew an answer that is true and pertinent today.

He leaned over and whispered in the ear of the king.

“And this, too, shall pass away.”

Nothing remains stuck forever. It just feels like that’s sometimes, but the skies do clear.

We remind ourselves of the saying in tough times.

The apostle Paul told the Corinthians:

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18, ESV)

We live in banana peel bodies that are rotting daily. (Pleasant thought) But they are the chrysalis allowing daily transformation in our spirit.

In trouble, remind yourself, “and this, too, shall pass.”

But it is a double-edged sword.

Not only does the unpleasant pass away, many joys speed by at the speed of life.

  • Mother’s Day flowers fade and wither.
  • Graduations part old friends, and we go our own ways.
  • Children grow, leave home, and the nest is empty.

While we wish the tough times away, we never notice the sparkles fading as well.

So hold life loosely. It passes before your eyes blind, or your heart beats. Never wish life away.

“And this, too, will pass away.”