2 Corinthians 4:16-18 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! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
“Lord, I didn’t sign up for a dying body ~~ remember, you called me to help ‘preserve and improve’ the body ~~ I don’t get it …”
Girlfriends in my Generation ~~ and I’m going all out on a limb here, being as raw and real as I know how ~~ the fact that our bodies are dying is down right depressing! Any ‘amens’ in the crowd?
We workout hard, restrict our diets, buy the makeup, wear the up-to-date-attire (or close enough to it), color our gray ~~ and yet the cold hard facts are that our bodies are still dying. We can attempt to defy all the broken down places of our anatomy (yes, and conceal the unsightly cellulite, mask the wrinkles, and tuck the loving handles into our spanking devices) ~~ but God’s Word declares we will still experience this process called dying.
I was enjoying a meal in the comfort of my home one night ~~ a sweet kale salad with bits of fresh coconut and strawberries tossed in, blended with a dash of extra virgin olive oil ~~ when all of a sudden I felt and heard a “Craaack!” A salad ~~ no meat ~~ no hard objects ~~ how in the world?!
I felt around and found no exterior damage; but I quickly felt the pain. My brain was telling me something was definitely wrong. UGH! And we all know how “dental memories” come flooding back to the frontal lobe of our cerebrum.
Two days later, I can no longer tolerate the pain; I make the call for the appointment. And yes, to my embarrassment, it’s been years since I had set foot in that office. But the reason I felt assured in going back was their demeanor and professionalism ~~ the staff, including the dentist never made “shame” part of their Game (get my drift?).
I am warmly greeted and cared for. We caught up on all the latest family happenings and grandkids and kids and all that. Then the moment of truth ~~ the examination reveals a crack at the root. Good thing I was already reclined in that chair.
As I slowly melted I began to pray ~~ just silently in my spirit ~~ as the good doctor explained that he would need to act fast and remove this now dead tooth ~~ immediately. “Now?!” I asked (palms sweating). “Yes, now.” he replied with that look.
Going through all the preparations I sat almost motionless ~~ my mind concentrating on Jesus in the room controlling and guiding the doctor’s every move. The doctor reminded me that if I could endure the pain and discomfort of my bilateral knee replacements, I could certainly come out of this “small procedure” a winner. So onward we went.
In spite of the unexpected outcome ~~ I was actually quite calm. I just kept praying. But that didn’t give me divine power to sit back and say, “That was easy.”
I wrestled with why now ~~ “God, I didn’t sign up for more work on this dying body ~~ at least, not right now.”
Just when I thought I was sailing through a great recovery with my recent knee surgeries, BAM! God gets my attention at the extreme opposite end of my (dying)body. “God, couldn’t You have postponed this for after the holidays?”
Ever have those moments where you wonder “how am I going to deal with this right now?”
My gut reaction is hold up! Don’t make a move because the whole world is watching ~~ I know it’s not the ideal Christian response ~~ but I don’t wanna blow it (not completely, at least). While part of me is wanting to screeeeeam (’til it feels good), the other part of me is knowing how messy the aftermath of my verbal shrapnel feels once it’s been scattered. It’s not a good feeling. And it’s downright embarrassing.
Searching through the Scriptures for comfort I read this passage in 2 Corinthians. And I have a feeling that the Christians in Corinth experienced some similar thoughts. To the point that the Holy Spirit comforts them through Paul’s letters. Our light afflictions ~~ Our present troubles ~~ won’t last very long.
Don’t look to the here and now for the glory that awaits you in the forever after.
Wherever you are, Girlfriend, wherever I am ~~ it lasts for a short time in comparison to eternity. All the energy and effort we put into living for today bares a small dent into what is left behind. Along the Journey we either learn to lean into Our Savior and fully trust Him, or we insist to stress our way into eternity; and the scrapes and bruises are evidence of our struggles.
While I certainly didn’t sign up and you didn’t sign up for a dying body (when we worked so hard to make it strong and resilient), or a decaying relationship (we’ve hung in there for what seems more worse than better), or a failing career (we’ve dedicated our adult life to pursuing a means for our family to thrive) or wayward kids (we’ve raised them up in the church and taught them the way that they should go and they still insist on doing it their way), or anything else that may be challenging me and you, Girlfriend. But I did sign up to go on the Journey with The One Who promises me a renewed mind and body at the end of it all, and I certainly hope you did, too.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~