On my walk this morning, I looked for evidence of death and life, side by side. I’m inserting a few of the examples I found.
The verse-of-the-day on Bible Gateway yesterday was Isaiah 46:4. “I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (NLT).
The phrase about white hair made it feel personal, since mine is moving progressively from pepper-and-salt to salt-and-pepper. Every time I get it cut, there are more white trimmings on the floor, reminding me that time, marching on, isn’t just changing my children’s bodies, it’s changing mine. Through my 20s and 30s I was generally able to ignore the truth that I live in a body that is decaying, a body that will eventually give up its hold on life, but now? Not so much. The knees ache when I walk down
stairs; the belly has firmly decided it likes curves better than straight planes; my head still wants to look over my shoulder, but my stiff neck vetoes the idea nearly every time. I tell my children that I exercise so I can keep up with them, but I know the time is very soon coming when their growing strength will far outstrip my failing energy.
That’s, honestly, a little sobering. My husband, parents, siblings, friends–we’re all on the downhill side of life’s timeline. Diet and exercise can only do so much, can’t actually stave off the inevitable (no matter what Tony Horton
says). But God remains the same. Yesterday, today, forever, 50 years ago, next week, a millennium hence–no change. The Amplified translates Isaiah 46:4 this way: “Even to your old age I am He, And even to your advanced old age I will carry you! I have made you, and I will carry you; Be assured I will carry you and I will save you.”
ok–this one doesn’t exactly fit what I was looking for–but these blossoms were so intricate!
The spiritual meaning of that verse is beautiful and truer than its physical meaning. But yet I take great comfort in knowing that when I am reduced to hobbling, to sitting, to a curled-up lying on a bed–He will carry me. He will be with me. He will continue the work He has begun in me and through me. I will not be useless–because of Him.
I take great comfort, too, in the assurance that He will save us from these decaying bodies. Near the end of summer I learned of the deaths of a high school friend and a former student at the school where I work. In the midst of grieving, we take comfort in knowing they are spiritually and emotionally alive with a fullness we cannot conceive.
It is an incredible comfort to know they are physically alive as well. They left behind their old b
odies–bodies that were gradually dying. With Liz
‘s cancer battle, this was obvious, but even though an accident took Chase’s life in the full prime of young womanhood, both were dying well before the cancer diagnosis and the accident drastically sped up the process. But NOW they are in fully alive bodies that don’t contain even a hint of death. When their loved ones are reunited with them, they will recognize them physically!
“I came that you might have life
,” Christ told us–tells
us. Spiritual life–yes! But also physical–in bodies that will be continually renewed–that will LIVE in ways we’ve never experienced. No aches, no pains, no fear of sickness or illness or death. No slowing down, no shortness of breath, no enhanced sense of gravity! Just life, pure, abundant, full, never ending, always flowing.
He is and will be our God–carrying and saving us through this lifetime. He is and will be our God, our source of life, for all eternity.
Here’s to LIFE.