“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Susan Bramer and her husband, Mason, are expecting their first child any day.
At nine months pregnant, Bramer is facing a lot of unknowns.
“There’s been a lot of anxiety in the last few days around being pregnant,” Bramer said. “I have a lot on my mind; physically, I’m not very comfortable, so I’m not sleeping well; I’m trying to wrap things up at work and prepare for this new life that’s coming.”
In the midst of so much newness, the Lord drew Bramer to 2 Corinthians 4:17.
“All of Chapter 4 is great, but this verse is one that stands out,” she said. ““What I love about it is that Paul describes all of our sufferings as a ‘light and momentary affliction.’ So no matter what we endure this side of heaven, it is light and momentary when it is compared to the eternal glory that is awaiting us.”
Bramer, a member of Southeast Christian Church, said the verse reminds her of the familiar hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
“When I’m feeling anxious or have a lot on my mind, I’ll often catch myself singing, ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace,’” Bramer said. “This verse makes me think of that hymn. It reminds me that, in light of eternity and what’s awaiting me, this is small. And it’s actually used to prepare me for heaven …. So for me, these couple weeks of being uncomfortable, hot and tired in pregnancy are preparing me for motherhood, which will prepare me for heaven.”
Bramer said that this verse reminds her that her hope in Christ is secure, but her response to life’s hardships is a choice.
“In this moment of despair, anxiousness or discontentment, I have the choice to pursue holiness or pursue selfishness,” Bramer said. “So I have to ask myself, ‘Will I choose holiness, knowing that this is preparing me for what’s to come?’”
Bramer said that this verse is one she goes back to time and again.
“It’s what I think about any time I’m in a trial,” she said. “It could be something big that is sustaining like a season of doubt, depression, disagreeing with my husband. Or it could just be in the day-to-day of a difficult day at work having a lot on my plate.”
Bramer said that the Lord has been sweet to remind her that in all things, He is in control.
“This life is not a choice that I made, as much as I want to say that Mason and I decided we wanted to have a baby and had a baby,” Susan said. “The Lord decides who has life, and this pregnancy is a glimpse of my body being used for His purposes, because I have no control over what’s going on in there. People will tell me, ‘You’re doing such a great job!’ But I’m not really doing anything. The Lord is doing it. I’m literally just a vessel, and every step of this is a miracle.”