The Other Side
And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
Something I love about divine inspiration is the way biblical writers lift our minds above the grim, gory particulars of present traumas to the eternal glory that rises through them. Isn’t that what we need most in a fallen world? A word that lifts us above sicknesses and sufferings and persecutions, above hospital rooms and hospice beds and dialysis clinics, above prisons and Gethsemanes and Roman crosses? I’m struck deeply by Rachel’s anguish of soul here, because I’m reminded that even when the best we can muster from our deep sorrow is “Call him Ben-oni” or “Father, why have You forsaken me?”, our temporary trauma is leading to everlasting joy. For Rachel, this child will be a ‘son of suffering’ only for a brief moment. Seconds later, when she rises again in glory, she’ll see her boy for who he really is: Benjamin! The son of my strength!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” wrote Paul in Romans 8:18. May we view our own sorrows today through that redemptive lens.