“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT)
The days of getting up and being ready in fifteen minutes are gone.
Although I’m in relatively good health, my life cycle has changed. This fact dawned on me one morning when it seemed that I simply could not get ready.
A recent diagnosis of glaucoma and dry eye disease means that I must use four types of drops daily: one twice a day, another four times a day, another once a day, and still another once a day. Keeping up with the schedule taxes my brain.
Patches of extremely dry skin resulted in a prescription cream which must be applied twice a day for two weeks with two weeks off before repeating the treatment again.
And then, there’s the pills that I swallow: one to control my acid reflux, and a daily aspirin because I’m over 50, along with the daily vitamin to make sure that I get what I might not through food. Add a beta blocker to regulate my tachycardia; then the three fish oil pills to restore moisture to my eyes. Finishing off the list is another over-the-counter acid reducer to help the prescription strength one finish off the day.
I shouldn’t complain — and usually don’t. Others are worse off than me. My wife has a pouch full of medicine that she must take daily to deal with health issues far more severe than mine. And those with rare diseases or other life-altering medical issues can top her — such as my brother who has Parkinson’s.
Reading what Paul says in today’s verse is comforting — and should be for all who have reached the later life cycle or are suffering with life-altering medical challenges. I may not spend as much time as some dolling up certain parts of my body or toning my muscles, but neither do I neglect it through unhealthy habits. Regardless, it’s going to do what bodies do: age, change, and eventually die.
I can’t keep this body alive, but God can — and will — just not in its present form. When I die — or when Christ returns — this body will be transformed and fitted for my eternal home, where no pain, sickness, disease, medicine, or death will inhabit. Nor will there be any more life cycles.
Enjoy the life cycles — despite the changes that they bring. They mean that you are one step closer to eternity.
Prayer: Father, give us grace to endure the changes that we must face as we gracefully age. Amen.
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission