August 31 – Slowly Dying

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

Read: Job 37:1-39:30, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10, Psalm 44:9-26, Proverbs 22:13

Relate: I’m forty years old. I don’t by any stretch consider myself an old man, but every now and then my body sends me little reminders that it isn’t quite what it used to be. Like yesterday, I got up from a desk I had been sitting at for about three hours straight and almost fell on my face. My right knee didn’t feel like holding my weight. It doesn’t matter that my weight is a good 5kg less than it was a year ago at this time. It just decided that for the next couple hours it was going to let me know that it was there.

I got another reminder when I was watching a recent baseball game. I remember when a certain athlete was a rookie. It seemed like just a year or two back. But the sports casters were commenting on how surprised how well he is able to continue playing despite being so old. So old? The kid is three years younger than I am. Sheesh.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I have been blessed to have been healed from asthma five years ago. I am in good enough shape to do a 48 kilometer walk from Trabzon to Sumela Monastary a couple weeks back and think nothing of it. Just a day or two later I ran up 100 steps, then walked up 400 more before crawling up the last 108. Still, I finished. My knees are usually good. Just every now and then they, or my back, or my sniffles remind me, though our spirits can be renewed, our bodies are slowly wasting away.

React: We can slow the process down. We can even roll it back a bit. We do have a responsibility to live healthy. This body is a temple. A good diet and exercise are important and even godly. But our body should not be an idol.  I invest time into more exercise and money into a better diet so that I might be able to more effectively use the rest of my time and money. No matter how well we maintain it, things like cancer and car accidents can instantly do damage from which we can never recover. While it is important to invest in living physically healthy, it is a thousand times more important to invest in living spiritually healthy. The former can reap rewards for decades, the latter… for a eternity.

Respond: 

Dear God,
I am so grateful that this world is not the end. No matter how hard I might try to maintain my health, it is a slowly losing battle. But that does not have to be a reason for despair but rather for hope. One day I will experience a glory that far outweighs any small current suffering. Help me to invest the best part of myself towards that day.
Amen

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10 thoughts on “August 31 – Slowly Dying

  1. I can totally relate to this. I’m be turning 50 next month and my body reminds me daily just how long I’ve lived on this earth. Thankfully, my spirit is way younger than my body. This was a lovely read. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I turned 65 a couple weeks ago. Aging has been much harder than I expected. It is very hard emotionally. My life has been fairly active; I was a skier and worked at ski resorts of Utah where I grew up. I have been a carpenter since my early 20’s. I managed a camp facility in the mountains of Utah/Wyoming. I hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim twice in my 50’s. People say I look young and are often amazed when I tell my age. But the realities set in no matter what our mentality says. BTW people who say, “age is just a number and you are only as old as you think” are usually very ignorant 20 year olds! So my body is dying slowly: back surgery 2 years ago, I had an injection into my knee a week ago, a scare with prostrate cancer, skin cancer, and old man sexual issues. This is not in my mind. It is my reality and it hurts.

    The irony is, I still hang with friends 20 years younger than me. I returned to college in old age and love it! I am highly involved in the music and writing community of our sweet Chattanooga, I may not hike as much but I kayak or lay in my hammock, And ironically young ladies find me attractive. Sweet but a bit too late!

    Getting old is not easy, but better than the alternative!

  3. I am 63 now and in the last 2 years lost my gallbladder, 2 knees replaced, back fused in 2 places and decompressed, and carpal tunnel surgery on both wrist. All my inside parts are great. It is just outside is breaking down but they can be fixed. It is all part of life and there is a plan. I just go with the flow. I know God will lead me where I need to go until my time is done here and I am done with this body.

  4. I’m with you. I turned 40 earlier this summer. Same thing happens to my right knee all the time. I grew up playing basketball on concrete and I had Osgood-Schlatter disease in my knees when I was a teenager. I also had shin splints at the same time. That was painful! When we are weak, then we are strong. That is a truth I learn more and more every day. Grace and peace to you!

  5. If my hope wasn’t in Christ, I would bemoan the slow and steady deterioration of my physical self, but I look forward to the day I’m called “home”.

  6. I am a few months away from turning 69, so I get that. My husband and I are committed to walking everyday. I think we walked about 3 miles today. We also play ping-pong, miniature golf, and we like to bowl, too. So we are trying to stay active.

    But, I agree that our spiritual health is the most critical for us to maintain.

  7. Hi BJ, I’m 73 so you can just imagine how many reminders I get! Yet the older I get the more I marvel at the grace of our Lord and the things He grants me that I too often take for granted. I love the insights that you share with us, you always have such a down to earth touch to what you write about, you identify with our humanness while at the same time lifting us up in awareness of God’s love and grace. And of course, you are right, one day, all this will seem as a faint memory when we are face to face with our Lord. Yet, this time we are given here is precious and essential because it allows us to see, albeit dimly, what is yet to come. What a beautiful intro God gives us. Grace and blessings my brother.

  8. It would seem that I am in the minority… not that I disagree with any of your efforts, but that I am 89 and know that ultimately the only way to stay in the game is to maintain purpose in our lives. And, if that purpose is to honor God with our given gifts, he will see you through. He has for me… and our marriage of 67 years.

  9. I’m turning 30 this year. I started doing yoga 2 years ago when I got diagnosed with PCOS. Since then I’ve gotten a more flexible and stronger body. I hardly get sick and I can do a lot of physical activities. I don’t feel old at all but when I drink or don’t sleep enough, I can feel it. My real age and I’m okay with it. I’m happy what I got and now I can spend time with what really matters to me my family and my hobbies.

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