Devotional 6/28: This Old House
Though my home maintenance skills are largely laughable, I do enjoy the This Old House program and watch it to understand what carpenters and electricians, etc… are doing and how they do what they do. I also watch it to get ideas of things I might be able to do around my house, albeit, with some help! I was recently watching an episode and they were visiting a house they had worked on 25 years ago. They even showed a clip of when the host worked on it. The showhost commented that the kitchen has held up pretty well considering it has been 25 years. Now the show host himself looked grayer than he had 25 years ago and if I had been him, I would have said, ‘I wish I could say the same for MYSELF!’
I remember many years ago when people would say “Wow, you don’t look 35!” I was not sure how to react because I never saw myself as old or old-looking. However, that was many years ago and now I am more apt to be complimented since I am definitely feeling and looking older. Time stops for no one! I don’t care what Tom Petty says in Last Dance with Mary Jane (I don’t know but I’ve been told, you never slow down, you never grow old)!
Sometimes this scares me. I get scared of being older and of things not working like they used to. It has certainly kept me anticipating Heaven and I think it should for others of faith like me. Whenever I hear someone’s testimony of their near-death Heaven experience, one of the things they always say is that we all are young-looking in Heaven. I wish this report would be more compelling to someone like Hugh Hefner. It certainly is compelling to me.
Now, there are many Bible verses about growing older and it has often compared our bodies to a house many times. Jesus even considered His body, the Temple (John 2:19). Here are a few verses:
Psalm 71:18 ESV: So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Psalm 92:12-15 ESV: The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
But my favorite is:
Proverbs 20:29 ESV: The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
This verse says that there is something good about getting older. But I wonder why if getting older is such a wonderful thing according to the Bible, then why its such a crummy thing sometimes? I think that answer lies in the story of Joseph. Now there is not a lot about him as an old man, but the aspect of his story that I am talking about is that he had to endure a ton of awful things before he got to a time of relief and happiness and abundance. He was sold into slavery by those he loved and he was actually put in prison. There are many other stories of others who suffered as the Lord was preparing them for something greater: Job, David, and others.
So many times in life we have to pay the price and do our time before the Lord will bless us with His ultimate goodness. The fact is that the Lord rarely gives us something good without making us pay for things first. And I think that goes for going to Heaven too. For those of us, “fortunate” enough to live to be elderly, I think that the problems that we have with our earthly bodies are to give us more anticipation for our Heavenly bodies.
Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t take care of our earthly bodies as much as we can. Of course, we are to love our earthly houses and therefore take care of them. I am not suggesting that we are all called to be monks (and that is not statement against those who believe that our dress should reflect our religion somehow). There is nothing wrong with looking your best.
However, as a person who is getting older and is blessed to see and interact with many people whose bodies are breaking down on a minute by minute basis, I am thankful for the promise of a Heavenly house that will be younger and stronger than this old house.
In the meantime, let me tell you one final thing about my house,
Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Cosmic Irony Update: The day I finished writing this I broke my arm trying to show my 6 year-old son how to skateboard.