Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 NAS)
Growth and maturity is part and parcel of life, and it is not unusual for some of us who are nearing our sunset years to deal with a variety of changes. Changes, whether physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual, however, can sometimes be difficult, and at certain times may even be miserable. Unless we see maturity in the right perspective, therefore, it may lead us to despair.
Some changes that come with age include reduced agility, slowing down of reflexes and deterioration of health. All these are issues that require major adjustments in our lifestyles. Ailments and the ‘decaying of the outer man’ are seldom avoidable, and many of us as we aged will realize before long that it is ultimately time or the lack thereof that is the foe we cannot defeat. How we choose to live our remaining days therefore will determine whether we live out our lives meaningfully to the end, or fail half way before the end.
As we grow of age, we often share a similar sentiment popularized by the movie 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.’ In the movie, one of the actors said concerning old age that “we seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.” This statement made by the actor suggests that with age, we are losing more than we receive in many aspects of our lives. While this statement may be true in some sense, there are certain things in our lives which can never be taken away from us. Our experiences, especially those that are spent fruitfully with God, will never be taken away from us, for it is these experiences that we can help others to go through theirs, and touch the world and others for Christ.
All the things that happened in our lives, our pain and our joy, our experiences, are for our sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:15). For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
We can all therefore not be ashamed as we mature, as we look forward to things which are eternal while awaiting the glorious days ahead, for though our outer man may be decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Even to our graying years, we can be the same, because our God will bear us, and He has done so; He will carry us and deliver us (Isaiah 46:4).
Thank You, dear Lord, for caring for us even in our old age and for not giving up on us even in our sunset years. Even when our strength begins to fail, You O Lord will never forsake us or leave us in despair, but will renew us day by day. Though the years to come may be few, we know we need not fear, because what we can see is temporal, and what we cannot see that awaits us is eternal.
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