October 15, 2009

I get to trade it in for a new one

My maternal grandfather became a Christian late in life. He was also blind from diabetes. When he died, my mother was comforted when she realized that, “Now Dad can see!”

The Bible promises new bodies and I’m sure that includes perfect vision. I don’t know anyone who would not like having a new bod. My waistline could be smaller. My hair could be thicker. I’d like firmer skin under my chin. The list goes on and I try to take care of myself, but no matter what I do, as they say, after fifty, gravity takes over.

I’m encouraged by my mom’s realization about Grampa. When she thought about what was happening to his body, she was near rejoicing, even in her grief. Her hope came from verses like these:

The creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope . . . (Romans 8:21-24)
Sin brought corruption. Without it, everyone would be strong and healthy forever. Sin resulted in thorns and thistles, but also sickness and aging with its aches, pains, and problems. As my husband constantly says, everyone is terminal. The Bible affirms that “The wages of sin is death” but the same verse also adds, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

So God gives this hope. Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ gives eternal life, but also a taste of this life in the one that I now live. He heals my sicknesses or prevents them altogether. He also gives daily strength, not just to aging me, but to everyone. The Bible says,

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
While God doesn’t promise to reverse the aging process, He keeps me going, and even gives self-control as a fruit of the Spirit. This means I do not have to overeat or indulge myself in destructive habits that make aging even worse by adding illness and other complications. He also gives motivation to be productive and do things that keep me active and feeling as if life has purpose.

Sure, I’d like a new body right now, but knowing that will happen later does help me be content with the things I cannot change about this one. Exercise is good. Eating well is good. Getting enough sleep and so on is also good. But even better is having contentment now because of hope in the promises of God — who has better things for the future.

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