So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16
Getting old is tough. It’s hard work with no guarantees. As I continue this process, I see more clearly God’s mercy and grace for each new day. Yes, there are aches, pains, reduced flexibility, and more times when I wonder why I went to the medicine cabinet, but that’s not what I mean by “tough.”
Having a mindset that I’m twenty-eight years old, having a young person’s aspirations while constrained by an aging body, is like eating one potato chip. It’s tough.
This aging process causes me to see people that I admired growing up becoming disabled and disrespected, that is, until they pass. Then people get all weepy and “oh, what a marvelous talent they were.” And then later, they often are again disrespected. It’s tough.
Hospitality has long been too uncomfortable, and now it’s unsafe and unfair to the welfare of society. “We shouldn’t bother my uncle” and “brother Jim from church needs his rest.” Somehow relationships became a casualty within Christ’s Bride. It’s tough.
Paying bills, doing pills, buying groceries, shuttling Mom and Dad to doctor appointments, and such. For the devoted child, it’s tough
With Zoom, funerals are no problem. All the kids and family can carve out twenty minutes for the Zoom funeral. Pity the child that shouldered the burden. The burden of funeral details again falls on the devoted child, not entirely since another will usually pitch in at the end of the long journey if for no other reason than to drag the faithful child across the finish line. It’s tough.
As I age, my short-term memory fades, enabling me to remember with clarity all the stupid mistakes that I’ve made over so many decades. Aging is cruel. I can remember, with great detail, refusing to go to the World’s Fair with my cousins simply because I was painfully shy, but it takes three tries to remember to take my morning pills. It’s tough.
There was a time when I thought I could do anything; not arrogantly, I just felt like I could. I took jobs, sight unseen, based on one phone call. I had confidence I’d succeed. Once I commuted to work from Indiana to Georgia every week, driving back and forth. I did that for six months —another time, I did a 120-mile roundtrip commute every day for four years. Now, I seldom drive. Even having my wife drive me for a day trip to visit friends an hour away wears me out. It’s tough.
One thing people seldom tell you is that as you age you will attend funerals of countless friends and family. Often, the passing of an elderly parent is a relief because their minds have been gone for quite some time. Both of my parents had dementia. Attempting to have conversations with my dad when he thought I was his friend from Chicago when he was young hurt. It’s tough.
Jesus has grown in me for fifty years. He has seen me make horrible mistakes, commit sins, act without His direction, and choose foolishly. When I think of all my actions that my Savior has seen, well, it’s tough.
Nevertheless, Jesus has led me on the path of righteousness. He pulled me out when my life was in a ditch. He has blessed me, mercied me, graced me, and taught me. From His Word and His faithfulness, I have developed great trust that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
If you have placed your faith in Jesus then you can join me in declaring that I know that I know that I know that I know that Jesus has not only regenerated me but “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6) Aging is tough, but Jesus is tougher.
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