In the last month both my wife and I have celebrated birthdays. On those special days we both remarked on how once you reach your mid 50s (I know, you’re shocked I’m that old 🙂 you realize more of your life is probably behind you than ahead of you. And of course, middle age brings with it the reality that all my parts don’t work like they used to! I have aches and pains in places I never did before, and I don’t seem to bounce back from illness or injury quite like I used to. If my back hurts after working in the yard for an hour what does that mean for my future???
I’ve been thinking about my aging body in the context of our theme for this school year “No Fear” based on Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” For many of us once we reach a certain age, we start to develop real fears about our future health. Is my body going to break down? Will I lose my memory or my independence? Who will take care of me or my spouse if one of us dies? After watching my parents suffer through illness, the breakdown of their bodies, and then death I know how real it all is. I think it’s important to remember though that the frailties of our aging bodies are a potent reminder that we live in a sinful and broken world where nothing lasts. Thankfully as Christians we don’t have to fear the future. Ultimately this world has no power over us and our broken bodies. We have the hope of heaven and the secure knowledge that one day we will leave these fragile earthly vessels behind and live eternally with Jesus. While I might lament by aging body, I will not fear its future because I will always rest in the arms of my loving God.