After the age of twenty-one, our bodies begin to die.
I first heard this morbid declaration from one of my college professors. I remember it clearly because I had just turned twenty-one. My friend, who was nineteen leaned in and said, “Stinks to be you.”
My professor wasn’t crazy. Research shows starting at around age twenty our cells don’t sequence the way they used to in the past (How we age, The Scientist, March 2015). Think of our cell reproduction in terms of a photocopy. If you keep photocopying the original, you end up with decent copies, but if you photocopy a photocopy and then photocopy that photocopy, the quality goes down significantly. The nice term for this process is called aging.
So, what do we do when most of us still have another three-quarter of our lives to go? Do we fall into a funk? Do we long for the good old days back when our skin was still tone, and our bodies didn’t ache? Do we invest oodles of money in products and programs promising to reverse the aging process?
Can’t we get more out of life?
Absolutely! In Philippians 3: 20-21 (AMP) Paul says, “But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body.”
Don’t focus on the shell. Instead, nourish the seed.
In Genesis, Adam and Eve were formed in God’s perfect image, but then the fall of man happened (when Adam and Eve ate the apple), compound that with time, and you now have bodies that are corrupted, sinful, and weakened. Our bodies all have an expiration date. However, like the seed from a tree, new life lies within the old shell. Thanks to Jesus, we can believe that someday we will shed this dying shell and be clothed in a new glorious body.
Less of me and more of Jesus
While the world (especially commercials) concentrates on the exterior, God is growing and developing us spiritually. He is making us into His likeness. Romans 12:2 states, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Since the day my professor made that statement, another 20 years have passed. I now have a few smile lines and some gray hairs poking through, but I wouldn’t change my appearance if it meant losing the work God has done in my heart during that time. I’m still a work in progress, but God is making me into a new person, one with more grace, patience, and love than the old me.
Maybelline can’t do miracles, but God can.
Be excited for our future, because we will be made new. When the day comes, and these earthly bodies have hit their expiration, we’ll slip out of these old rags and get down in our new garbs.
“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a]including the new bodies he has promised us.” – Romans 8:23 (NLT)
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