Looking in the mirror this morning, I saw a face that is changing daily, and with increasing speed. It is not that I am neglecting my appearance. Anyone who would dare to peek into our bathroom could tell that from the full basket of “jams and jellies” sitting on the vanity. However, in spite of my best efforts, time is leaving its indelible imprint on this pot of clay.
I am reminded of when my dear mother came to visit some years ago. I was in my thirties, she in her sixties. We were preparing to go out to dinner and she looked with dismay into the dresser mirror and said, “Oh, Laura, where has the time gone. I look so old.” She fussed with her makeup.
“Here Mummy, let me help.” I picked up the eye shadow and applied the light blue pigment to the lids of her azure eyes, still her most striking feature. “I think you look beautiful,” I said, and gently dabbed at her fragile eyelids. You will always be beautiful to me, I thought.
Now, many years later, I understand how she felt. It gets more and more difficult to hold back the hands of time. Of course, that is an exercise in futility, anyway. Because of sin, these earthly bodies are programmed to gradually self-destruct. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden, and our flesh is relentlessly bombarded with free radicals and countless other substances that age us.
Increasingly, I find myself looking for encouragement to the passages in the Bible that speak of the blessings promised to us as we grow older. Psalm 92:12 (NKJV) tells us, “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” While I don’t think this passage tells me the lines around my eyes and mouth will disappear, I believe it does say that as I root myself in the Word of God and honor the Lord with my life, I can be an influence for good as long as I live.
I have had the privilege of meeting older Christians who, although their bodies are aging, have a peace and joy that radiates through their eyes and speech. We read in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
My ultimate desire is to lift up the Lord Jesus in all I do and reflect Him to the world around me. As we move closer to that promised time when our physical bodies will be changed into heavenly bodies that will never age or die, may we allow the precious Holy Spirit to transform our spirits from glory to glory.