Monday, October 15, 2012

Beautiful Decline

Romans 8:18-25
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

It is getting scarier and scarier to look in the mirror in the morning.  Wrinkles, skin splotches, gray hair--things aren't staying put together the way they were fifteen years ago.  I have daily medicine for my thyroid and vitamins to help keep the germs at bay.  I am reminded often that this physical shell is not going to work forever.  Even with exercise, diet and hard work, we all fade physically.

My husband made the observation that we hit our peak physically in our teens and twenties, and the rest of our lives are a slow (sometimes fast) decline.  Rather than be depressed by this, he pointed out the positive to what God has put in place.  Because we age, we spend most of our wiser years being reminded by God that this earth is temporary, that our world and our bodies are cursed with sin and death, and that we need to focus on eternity and the more important eternal status of our souls. 

Through aging, God motivates us to have faith in Jesus as our Savior.  Our mortality and physical failings should prompt us all the more to know we cannot rely on selves and our good works.  We are incapable and frail.  If we can't keep our health and physical appearance in check, how can we save our souls?  It reminds me of the Matt Redman song, You Alone Can Rescue, that opens, "Who, oh, man, can save himself, his own soul can heal?"  No one.  We can't.  Thankfully, Christ gave us righteousness and paid for our sin on the cross if we repent and have faith in what Jesus did.  Our souls can be saved through Him.

I often think that this fact explains why the world is so obsessed with physical perfection, makeup, cosmetic surgery and youth.  The world does not want to dwell on God, the sin plaguing us all, and the need for a Savior to repair the separation we have from God.  Blemishes, wrinkles, gray hair, extra pounds, and disease are reminders that we die and physically fail because of sin.  We are cursed by sin and separated from our Creator.  Such physical problems remind us we need a relationship with God.  We need a Savior.

Though it is painful and hard to age, as Christians we can find hope in the experience.  We can realize the world is slowly fading away, just like our bodies.  It is a beautiful decline to those in Christ, to those with the promise of Heaven.

Hebrews 6:19-20   "We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

1 comment:

  1. I love that phrase “beautiful decline.” Great thoughts Chiara!


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