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It's Not Permanent

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

I hated my whiteboard! After setting up my new apartment, I decided that the wall of my bedroom/office needed a nice big whiteboard so that I could make note of my ‘to do list’ as well as random, clever sayings or inspirational quotes. To my dismay, however, I soon found out that the markers simply didn’t erase!

Yes, of course the first thing I did was to check that they were ‘whiteboard markers’ and not permanent. Check ✔️. Next, I went back to the office supply store where I had purchased the whiteboard and markers, but they were stumped as well ⁉️. I tried different markers, but nothing seemed to work, so I simply endured having to use nail polish remover to erase any writing on my whiteboard. So frustrating! 🙁

This went on for quite some time, until I noticed that the surface of my whiteboard was not quite smooth. There seemed to be a little crack - and when I pulled at it, lo and behold - to my surprise, the entire plastic film came off - writing and all! Another one of my silly foibles that I had to just laugh at and let it go.

But somehow, I felt that God had some kind of message in this for me. Like Peter in the Bible, who didn’t understand the vision of the sheet that was let down from Heaven filled with unclean animals, I pondered the meaning of this trivial incident with my whiteboard. It wasn’t until I went to work one evening that I finally understood…..

Several months ago, I started teaching English as a Second Language to groups of adults in Israel. Who knew that my Education degree with a minor in ESL studies would finally come in handy! As I prepared for class, I noticed that whoever is responsible for supplies still had not equipped my classroom with markers for the whiteboard. Argh!

I marched into the office, where some guy was filling in for the regular office manager who was on vacation, and asked for markers. He fished around in the cabinet drawers and handed me three markers: black, blue, and red. As usual, I used the whiteboard to illustrate my lesson, but to my dismay, the writing would not rub off with the eraser!

Upon checking the markers that the fill in guy gave me, I immediately noticed that, yup, they were actually permanent markers! It was then that I discovered the handy-to- know technique for removing permanent marker from a whiteboard - you go over the permanent writing with a whiteboard maker and voila! It took quite a bit of scrubbing to get that writing off and make the board ready for the next class but we did it.

Suddenly it clicked! Like Peter, I experienced an ‘aha’ moment - I understood the meaning of the vision. God was saying to me, “Hannah, you think your situation is permanent - but it’s not! “ One day, these circumstances that I consider here to stay will simply be gone.

There are enemies in our life that seem to be winning the battle, but one day we will look around for them only to find that they have disappeared - they are simply ‘no more’.

“For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;

Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,

But it shall be no more.” (Psalm 37:10)

We all have situations in our life which appear to be permanent. We think, “I’ll always be single; I’ll always be sick and tired; I’ll always be broke; or I’ll always be depressed and unhappy.” We’ve been living with these conditions for so long that we think they will never change. But everything in this life is subject to change - even in a moment of time!

We read about Joseph in the Bible who, betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, suffered for years in Egyptian captivity - first as a slave, and then unjustly imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. It looked permanent. Hopeless. He languished in that prison for many long years. There was no reason to believe that his situation would ever change. But in one day - through a series of God-orchestrated events - Joseph went from the prison to the palace!

In a moment - in the ‘twinkling of an eye - everything about our situation can change!

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar - the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)

Some of us are writing our story with permanent markers; whereas the truth is that we should be writing with an erasable marker because everything is subject to change.

We may think that our sins permanently marr our record in Heaven, - that God writes in the Book of Life with a permanent marker; - but this is not true. God is the one who holds the eraser and He will wipe the slate clean when we put our faith in Yeshua.

“I, I am the One who erases [blots out] all your ·sins [transgressions], for my sake; I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)

Our story is not meant to end in defeat, discouragement, and depression; sickness and poverty is not to be our permanent state. We need to allow God to peel that old film away, along with all of the writing, and to start a new chapter for our life.

Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The reason I thought the markers I was using on my whiteboard at home were permanent, was because at that time, I couldn’t perceive the truth. I didn’t see that there was a plastic film left on the surface of the board that needed to be peeled away.

There is a film over each of our eyes, so that for now, we see spiritual reality only ‘as through a glass darkly’; but one day we will fully see the truth.

For now we see through a glass darkly (like a blurred, distorted image in a mirror): but then we will see very clearly. For now, all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me!” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

As people who walk by faith and not by sight, may we always remember that the things we see are only temporary; it is the things we do not see which are permanent.

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Edward Prah
Edward Prah
05 sept 2023

This is VERY comforting in light of my experience this morning and the past 20+ years. The Teacher has an eraser...thank you Hannah! Shalom to you in abundance. 🙂

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