Have you ever longed to keep the wisdom of your age and yet stay forever young? No one wants to go backwards, but we all want to be young – as in healthy, vibrant, strong, and beautiful. God says that very wish is what He has planned for you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
The Bible describes humans as spiritual beings living in temporary tents. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2. Cor. 5:8). It is sad to have our bodies wear out, but God promises new bodies that will have greater magnificence than our current ones. When we hear that, we may picture switching from an old rusty bicycle to a new sports car. The same driver, but with much more power, amenities and pizazz. Ken Boa says that the difference will be even more dramatic than that! It will be like changing from an ordinary caterpillar to an exquisite butterfly, not to a souped up caterpillar with faster legs and a cooler color.
Reading Paul’s description of our resurrection bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:35-50 reminds me of planting bulbs. Have you ever looked at an amaryllis bulb? Without prior knowledge of this flower, no one could look at that bulb and imagine the beautiful flower waiting to bloom from this plain brown ball. Your resurrected body will be just as breathtakingly better than your present body as the flower is to the bulb. Your desire for beauty, health, wisdom and agelessness will one day be realized.
As an amaryllis is still connected to the bulb, so our new bodies are related to this present body. We will feel right at home in them, because we will be finally at home. Our seemingly impossible longing for the best that both youth and age can offer will become reality – forever young and lovely, yet forever wise and mature.
Grasping that reality supplies real hope. Every new creak, wrinkle or loss is a reminder that though I hate to see my body wearing out, it will be renewed. To live in that hope we must focus:
- Not on what is seen – wrinkles, gray hair, bum knees…,
- But on the unseen – the promises of God, the hope of heaven,
- Not on what is temporary – this body, this world,
- But what is eternal – heaven, Jesus, His word, loved ones.
Then we won’t loose heart. For the believer, truly the best is yet to come.
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