Reading glasses. A personal friend of mine. Our relationship began sometime within my fortieth year.
I’ve noticed that within two years either side of this big birthday, most people begin to trombone their literature as their eyesight begins to change.
Indeed, “our outer man is decaying.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
But, in all honesty, that’s a good thing. Especially if we are in Christ. Because as our outer man decays, “our inner man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16) Seems that these two things actually go together.
At the beginning of our lives, everything we do involves taking in the world around us. As soon as our hands can grasp, we are pulling things into our mouths, interacting with what we see in the only way we know – through our bodies.
Yet, as we age, we think more, process more, reflect more. Little by little, our bodies develop into full stature, and we explore our world more often through thoughts and feelings rather than through our physical senses.
As we mature, life becomes more complicated. Relationships, employment, responsibilities. The storybook beginnings take unexpected twists and turns, tumbling us into paths we’d rather not tread.
Not by our choice sometimes, but always by His, He purposefully weakens our strength (Psalm 102:23), so we can realize Who is truly in control.
Yes, the outward man decays, but towards an intent; so that our soul might glimpse the true importance of His Spirit within.
- Our body grows more limited, so that our spirit can enlarge incessantly.
- Our physical eye dims, so that our spiritual eye can perceive more keenly.
- Our outer man declines, so that our inner man can reach for the very heart of God.
We shouldn’t lose heart. It’s a part of His plan.
Yet, we try changing our diet, while He calls us to hunger for Him.
We seek more free time, as He invites us into He-time.
We pray for strength, but He merely grants us weakness.
For it is only in the decay that we will deeper seek His way (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Let go and let Him (Psalm 46:10).
Our outer man is perishing, but our inner man is being renewed day by day.
An awareness of our weakness drives us to seek His perspective. When we release into His arms, He lifts us into a panoramic view of our limitations. From a Spirit’s-eye view, it’s obvious that our troubles are absorbed into His encompassing power.
Eternity has already begun within our hearts, you know. Let’s view our circumstances from this standpoint of glory.
We still may need to don our readers for that which is before us, but we mustn’t let it capture our eye. Our gaze is fixed upon Him, the Remarkable One Who overtakes us with His beauty. One glimpse of Him and we’ll stare in wonder; baffled at how His far-off, distant glory comes nearer to engulf us as we wait upon His Truth (2 Corinthians 3:18).
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Even so, Lord Jesus, come.