Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mid-Week Message - Aging With Purpose

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."  2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)

Birthdays.  Whether we want them to or not, they come every year.  Mine is coming at the end of this week.  I understand why some are reluctant to to talk about their age.  As we witness our bodies changing as a natural consequence of the increasing years there is a desire to deny time, to hold out as long as we can against the softening and wrinkling skin and gray hair.  

I have to admit that I actually enjoy my birthday.  It doesn't matter to me that my age changes each year.  In fact, I am kind of proud of it.  Of all the gifts that I have received in my life, the ones that mean the utmost to me are those that have come straight from the hand of the Lord.  The average person takes 8,409,600 breaths per year.  As far as I can understand, each one of them is a gift because we are not promised a certain length of life.  That means that as of this Friday, my sixty-first birthday, I will have drawn 512,985,600 life sustaining breaths of air since my birth.  Each one is a present freely given by my heavenly Father.

The trick is to remember this on the subsequent days of the year.  When the hard days come, and there have been many of late, the gift of each moment still needs to be a reason to praise Him.  No matter what, He has still allowed life to continue for a reason.  That reason is to bring Him glory.  There is nothing we will face in this life alone.  Along with each breath comes His presence.  From the moment of our conception He never leaves our sides.  We are here because of His unending and unconditional love which was proven by the death and resurrection of Jesus.  

Aging isn't fun, I will confess.  Aches and pains, slower reflexes and decreasing stamina plague us.  Diseases associated with age may set in.  Loved ones older than us have often passed away and those that are younger are busy with their own lives.  For some it can be a very lonely time but for all of us it can be rather daunting.  We reach the age of retirement in a time when finances cannot be assured to last and the need may arise to downsize our lives or sacrifice familiar lifestyles.  From my relationship with elderly friends I know that at times we may wonder why God allows our lives to continue and our only real desire begins to be going home to Heaven.  

I cannot begin to claim to understand the Lord's plans or reasoning behind how long any certain lifespan is.  But this I do know, His plan is perfect.  No matter how long any individual life is, it is for His glory.  We may not know how many other people are able to see Jesus in us in youth or old age but He will use each of us to touch hearts for His purposes if we allow Him to.  Each and every day is a precious gift.  Each breath a sign of His presence.  Without Him, we would not be.  

I pray that as we each wake up to each new day's sunrise we can say "Thank you, Father.  This day is yours.  Please use all the moments you give me to show others your love."  Have a beautiful, meaningful and blessed week.  

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