“We do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight 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
“The Preparing” was born from two specific events. The first was a short film that our bass player Steven Bush produced about a friend of ours who has cerebral palsy. Sometimes the struggles of life just seem downright unfair – the things we go through are almost too much to bear. Watching our friend cope with everyday things you & I take for granted is very sobering. His body is broken, and doesn’t function on this earth the way that God originally designed. The corruption of sin makes those things that were originally made perfect broken. And that is heart-breaking. Outward problems like communication and transportation are just a couple of the life-long battles that those with CP face. Bush’s film showed some of the more intimate difficulties – specifically, loneliness.
The second event was the passing of my wife’s dad. He passed away just a couple of weeks after we were married. For nearly a decade, cancer had ravaged his body, and it was a slow and painful process. My wife and I were often reminded of the fact that “this is not how it is supposed to be”. Life is really short, and is riddled with the decaying effects of sin. “Our outer nature is wasting away” is a very true statement. We take health & vitality for granted until we are reminded that we will not always have it, neither for ourselves or for our loved ones. This is NOT how it was originally designed to be, but our God, in His grace, sent us Jesus to save us from the eternal effects of sin. Instead, what is broken is being slowly restored until Jesus returns to make everything right again.
The Bible is the story of God setting everything back to how it was before Genesis 3.
Thus, “The Preparing” is at its core a story of heartache and sorrow. It is nostalgic for how things used to be but that are no more. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians encourage us when we look around and see the brokenness of disease and death: this is only for a moment, and it is nothing when we compare it to the weight of glory coming. We can suffer through anything because we know that it will last only a short while when set side by side with eternity. It is sad but it is hopeful. It is in those moments we must remember that we are aliens here, residents of a different place. We look to heaven, not to mentally escape this world, but to be reminded that God, through Jesus, is making things as they should be. Colossians 3:2-4 says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
I like classic guitars for those emotions because they have a certain softness and roundness that steel string acoustics do not have. The pulling of your fingers across the strings is a sad sound. The song goes round and round after the same patterns, slowly and ploddingly, like life sometimes feels. Endless heartbreak around us feels so heavy and pressing. But right in the middle of it all, there’s always a bright light that reminds us that though our outer nature is wasting away, it is only a slight affliction that is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.