This too shall pass

That phrase got me through the fourth grade.

I’d been sick with the flu during Christmas break, and the illness kept me home from school when the new semester started. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick.
When I finally made it back to school in mid-January, I discovered all the desks had been rearranged into friendly little foursomes. I roamed the classroom, searching in vain for my nametag. I finally found my desk, shoved against the wall at the back of the room. Apparently, my teacher assumed I wasn’t coming back. Gee. Thanks.

To top it off, some of the girls I was friends with had deemed me a pariah of some sort during a slumber party. No one was speaking to me.

It wasn’t my best year.
The year of the worst school picture ever.
The first (and last) “F” I ever got on a paper.
The year I learned correcting your teacher’s spelling errors on the blackboard is not wise.

I spent recesses that spring bouncing a tennis ball off the brick wall of the school building, alone.

On one particularly wretched day I heard a secret whisper, as though someone were standing behind me, whisper, “This too shall pass.”

How comforted I was by those words! I repeated them over and over, a mantra for my 9-year-old soul. Years later, when I’d learned to discern the voice of the Lord, I realized just Who had spoken those words to me, and I was thankful all over again.

this too shall pass

Recently, I looked it up, now that we have “the Internet machine” (as my son calls it) to research these things. To my surprise, the phrase, which I cannot ever remember hearing before that moment on the playground, is an ancient proverb, appearing in Persian, Jewish, and Turkish  folklore, used to humble kings and lift up the afflicted.

It comes back to me every so often, when I’m struggling to accept a season of life, or when I need to be reminded to rejoice in the here and now.

What proverbs, quotes, and phrases are engraved into your life?
What is going on in your life right now that you need to take heed to these words? Whether it’s a good thing like children growing up, or a negative thing like loneliness, or a work schedule that seems impossible? 

4 thoughts on “This too shall pass

  1. Patti Lacy says:

    Oh, Niki! I thought MY MOM coined this phrase!!!

    Some of my Bible verses soothe with the same concept.

    Thank the Lord we have an eternal future.
    I've missed this place.
    Bless you,

  2. Marlene says:

    "The peace that passes understanding" They are the words from an old camp song but it always reminds me that there is a peace that is beyond our ability to understand, that everything will be all right and we can rest in that gentleness.

  3. Niki Turner says:

    Patti, that's funny you remember your Mom saying that! Do you suppose she knew its background?
    Amen to that… no matter what is going on, there's a plan for our good!
    Missed you too, lady! Blessings!

  4. Niki Turner says:

    Marlene, that's one of my favorite scriptures, the peace that passes all understanding. I'm so glad we serve a God who is not limited to time or place! He has already gone ahead and made preparations for us that are for our good, because He loves us!
    Thanks for commenting!

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