“This too shall pass” isn’t even in the Bible.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. -Matthew 24:35 ESV
I’ve heard this expression time and time again. Usually when I’m going through a tough time, some good-natured person will put their hand on my shoulder and say with all the conviction they can muster, “This too shall pass.” At first I’m encouraged but after further contemplation I think to myself… DUH! Of course it will pass! That’s what time does… it passes! Come to think of it this is one of the dumbest things someone can say…. Well thanks Captain Obvious! This too shall pass! Ha! I’m kidding of course but seriously where did this phrase come from?
Many people attribute this saying to the bible. The first known writing of the phrase is in Persian poetry in the 11th and 12th Century. Jewish Folklore attributes the phrase to a story about Solomon. Many other common sayings people attribute the Word of God as well like “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” or “Money is the root of all evil.” (it actually says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil) Many sayings that we adopt as the Word of God aren’t absolute truth at all. So one of my favorite things to do is debunk sayings like these so people don’t base their lifelong, permanent decisions on cultural sayings. We should base these decisions on God’s word and it’s up to us to search the scriptures out for ourselves.
Solomon wrote about how times and seasons pass away. This is the closest biblical example of “this too shall pass.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Sometimes “this too” doesn’t pass. Sometimes you have to deal with people or issues for a long time! Things pass when healing comes. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, Jesus does! Jesus brings the healing and we can actually expedite that healing by the condition of our hearts. Jesus always boils everything down to one thing in our lives; the condition of our hearts. Out of our hearts is where are actions flow, out of our hearts is where we speak from, out of our hearts is where healing happens… and eventually “this too shall pass” because of the condition of our hearts.