“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16
I celebrated my 49th birthday on Monday. It’s difficult for me to comprehend. It seems as if it was only yesterday that I had graduated college, married, had two wonderful children…. Those children are now 20 and 22.
My body doesn’t move quite the way it did when I was younger. I have aches and pains that seemingly have no origin. When I exercise it takes longer to recover than it did when I ran in college. I’ve come to know the word “arthritis” in a deeper way than I ever wanted, and Bengay, once a Junior High School joke, has become a close friend.
Just a couple of years ago I gave in to my need for bifocals after I got tired of slipping “cheaters” over my regular glasses so that I could read the numbers on gauges at work. And even with my glasses I have trouble reading the episode descriptions on Netflix without leaning toward the TV.
But aging isn’t all bad! I have a much clearer understanding about life. Having made about as many mistakes as one man can make, I’ve grown in wisdom in ways that only experience can provide. Most importantly, however, I’ve come to know God and comprehend grace in ways that can only come from failure and forgiveness… repeated failure and forgiveness.
I’ve learned that I can trust God with my inner self and with my aging home. In fact, my aging home is a constant reminder of my need for God. It’s a constant reminder that inside this body is developing a new creation; the “wasting away” of the flesh is merely a harbinger of the revelation of my “spirit man.” Perhaps it’s a bit cliché, but I think of the butterfly. Inside we are growing and maturing. Meanwhile the cocoon, our temporary residence, is decaying. When the time is right we will burst forth from our shell and see Him face to face.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3, ESV