Lifting the bale of hay, I find myself thinking of my younger days when I could still throw such a bale up on top of the fifth layer on the back of the truck. Now, on a good day, I can push it up on top of the second layer. It’s not just the aging, it’s also the fact that I don’t lift as many bales now as I did back then.
Except for the man rarely blessed, as was Moses, whose strength and vision stayed with him into his old age, it is customary that strength and stamina fade with the passing years. Passing through our middle years, we are still occasionally surprised not to see that younger memory of ourselves when we look in the mirror. Instead, we see that stubborn stranger who has taken over that finer body and has no apparent intention of giving it back.
We should be grateful, actually. In the paradox of Christianity, it is in our weakness that God’s strength is made perfect. Acutely aware of our imperfections, we sometimes fail to note the better changes that his Spirit has worked within us over the years. Though our bodies age and our skin wrinkles, we have grown in him and through him. Our faith, our hope and our love, tempered by the years, have responded to the testing with greater growth. We see more joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. A greater confidence that we can do all things through him who strengthens us.
As this body grows closer to its time of planting in the soil, its testimony to us is that it is less needed, less suitable, and less desirable, as we are being made, day by day, more ready for our rest. More ready for the springing forth of our immortality, for the receiving of a greater likeness to his own.