2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (1 Corinthians 4:16-18)
The promises of God are the medicine to cure the critical ailments of the aging. But…What is the reason for all our suffering?
An elderly friend asked me that. She was crippled with arthritis, 80 years old, in constant pain. I was taking her downtown to do some business. I replied, “I’m not sure, but I have a theory.” “What is it?” she demanded. “I’ll tell you sometime.” “No, I want to know right now!” So I told her my theory. The strength and beauty of youth is physical and the strength and beauty of age is of the spirit. Those who work so hard at trying to stay young and beautiful often neglect the beauty of spirit. The tragedy is that in the end they lose both! They grow weak and aged and are weak and ugly of spirit. Besides, I told her, if we stayed young and strong we wouldn’t want to go to heaven. God has planned it so that we lose our physical strength and beauty so we will concentrate on the real, eternal inner person and get ready for our eternal home. I told Mrs. Reagon and she was silent.
Several weeks later she was rushed to the hospital. I visited and had no sooner entered the room than she called out, “It’s the truth! Your theory is true! I really want to go to heaven!”
I didn’t make up the theory, of course. It’s in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Some people don’t like to think about the end of the journey, but that’s a great mistake. God tells us we’ll gain great wisdom by thinking about the end of life: “Every living man is no more than a puff of wind, no more than a shadow…I am only your guest for a little while.” (Ps. 39:5,12) “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.” (Ps 90.12)
The wise person knows that no matter how long he lives, it is short. Just a puff of smoke, a fleeting shadow. And knowing this he uses his short time on earth to prepare for eternity. That is true wisdom.
The grace of growing old, resources for the journey? For the feelings of uselessness, loneliness, bitterness, fear? The promises of God! Trust him! He’s strong enough, smart enough and loves you enough to die for you. You can trust him!