Nate’s Notes: Renewal

Butterfly Rain forest at The Florida Museum,
Gainesville, FL

2 Corinthians 4:16 Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

A grandmother’s story reminds me of the challenge of aging.

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?” I mentally polished my halo and I said, “No, how are we alike?”

“You’re both old,” he replied.

Aging, disability, disease, and infection are some of the greatest challenges that we will ever face. I now understand the saying that youth is wasted on the young. I spent so much time pursuing entertainments and goals that I had little or no lasting value. For example, education is a wonderful pursuit, but I wish I had invested more effort and less in relationships and less in earning degrees. I can’t replace the time that I lost that should have gone to the Lord and my family.

Although I cannot turn back time, the good news is that our Abba Father sent his Son to give us new life and his Spirit to empower us. On one hand each passing year brings us closer to the end of this life, but on the other hand Jesus has already delivered us from the penalty of sin and death. As our hearing and vision fade, we can grow closer to the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, the Lion of Judah, and the King of Kings.

Jesus endured pain, rejection, sorrow, and torture on the cross. He went through the same suffering that we endure. The Son of Man understands our pain. I have read before that God whispers to us in our pleasures and shouts to us in our pain.

John Piper, in his book Future Grace, offered this insight:

We ‘look’ at these unseen things through the gospel. We strengthen our hearts — we renew our courage — by fixing our gaze on the invisible, objective truth that we see in the testimony of those who saw Christ face to face.

Paul noted in Ephesians 1:3, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians with this incredible truth. We read throughout Scripture that the Lord cares for his people. The Lord answered Job, saw Hagar, protected David, strengthened Moses, supported Deborah, rescued Ruth, gave courage to Esther, and supplied wisdom to Solomon.

As our physical body is wasting away, we are reminded that we are but dust. We know that our redeemer lives and has adopted us into the family of God. In the midst of whatever storm you are facing, God is mighty to save you.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the blessed hope we have in your Son. No matter what happens to us and no matter how much age ravages our bodies, we know that inwardly you are strengthening us. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit; we ask that your perfect spirit will guide us into all truth and embolden us to live for your praise and glory.