Is that a gray hair? Another wrinkle! Where did that line come from? Not as flexible as you used to be? Lost a step or two? Feeling more soreness? Hair thinning? Stuff sagging? Eyes not as sharp? Putting on LB’s?
After we’ve awakened from our collegiate invincibility stupor, it usually doesn’t take long to notice we’re not getting any younger. Damage control: color, creams, classes, glasses, gizmos, exercise, doctors, diets and fashion concealment techniques. It’s a battle worth fighting, but the trend line is relentless.
And so “while we are still in this tent, we groan…” 2 Corinthians 5:4. Did I hear an amen? Yes, God gave us amazingly beautiful earthly tents we call bodies, but these tents are exposed to the elements, and over time, inevitably show signs of wear and tear. Every day, we are given these pesky reminders. But in addition to all our other efforts in search of the fountain of youth, we should firmly drive our tent stakes into these words of wisdom:
“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV.
Did you hear that? Outward decay, inward renewal. How is that possible? It’s a transformational, paradoxical miracle, of course. It’s an incredible redemptive and restorative work of the Holy Spirit of Jesus that doesn’t focus on polishing or patching up the outside, but is wholly committed to complete what He started on the inside. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” Philippians 1:6 NLT.
Don’t lose heart! Why not? Because the mirror on your wall tells one story, but the mirror into your spirit should tell another. If our eyes focus only on the first mirror, we may not always like what we see when we look at what is temporary. But fixing our eyes on the mirror of the unseen reveals an eternal, inner beauty and glory that never fades. And this truth calls us to make sure our focus is rightfully placed on what is truly worth the investment.
So as the miles on your odometer increase, make sure the wear is only external.
That according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16