Aging Gracefully?

“… therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16

Inwardly renewed… Outwardly wasting away. The painful truth is these bodies of ours get old. There was a time when I ran 5K races… these days, I get winded trying to run an errand! There was a day when Pastor Al and I could play three on three basketball in 90° heat for several hours… To try that now? Let’s just say we both have Wimbergs on speed dial. Time changes us… These bodies of ours grow older, and tend to break down, sometimes with an alarming frequency! The authors of scripture did not sidestep this issue… Solomon goes into graphic details in Ecclesiastes chapter 12… Even reading it is sometimes painful! Moses in Psalm 90 states that the length of our days is 70 or 80 years…if we have the strength! Unlike Madison Avenue which constantly tries to pedal all of their age defying products, our Lord is kind enough to let us know the hard truth… For which I am thankful! He gives us gentle and sometimes not so gentle, reminders that these bodies, this world, are not our final home!

The apostle Paul in the above passage, reminds us that while outwardly we waste away, inwardly, sort of like fine wine… We can be renewed. I’ve had the opportunity to sit by enough bedsides of those older than me to hear how the Lord is continuing to work his grace and beauty in the hearts of his people. I’ve also had the privilege of holding the hands of saints who, as they drew nearer to their heavenly home, seem to have a trust that ran a bit deeper, the faith that was more profound, and an inward confidence that was indeed, beautiful.

Are you busy running the crazy race to try and stay young physically? You’re going to lose that battle. At the same time, I encourage you to keep going for those walks, bike rides, hikes… They do have some value! In fact, that’s exactly what Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:8. And exercise is great for a sense of well being! (So I’m not advocating checking out by sitting on the sofa and eating chips:)

In the second part of that same verse Paul says this “…but godliness has value for all things, holding promise both for the present life and the life to come.”

Inwardly renewed…. That can happen consistently until the day we are taken to glory! Our bodies? They slowly grow more wearied and tired…. But, remember we’re getting new ones! Glorified, perfect, different…. Until then, we fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. Keep looking to him:)

Pete Nelson