Robertson McQuikin, former esteemed president of ColumbiaInternationalUniversity in Columbia, South Carolina, once drove an elderly friend on an errand. She moved slowly and painfully, being crippled with arthritis.

            “Robertson,” she asked as they drove along, “why does God let us grow old and weak? Why must we hurt so?”           

            “I’m not sure,” McQuilkin replied, “but I have a theory.”

            “What is it?”

            He hesitated to share it, but she insisted. This is what he said: “I think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary, so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever.

            The temporary things in life seem to be the most important items in people’s lives these days. We want to ignore spiritual matters until we can no longer put off the unavoidable fact of our own mortality. It’s a reckoning we face some earlier than others.

            Age has a tendency to bring to the forefront just how temporary we truly are; we’re but blades of grass in the scheme of things, and time isn’t merciful to anyone. The hurts and pains are a daily reminder, we must prepare spiritually for the Life after this one.

            If you’re an unbeliever in God, old age is a depressing prospect looming in the days ahead. It offers no hope for any redemption, only the eventual relief of death. But just as sure as the scriptures are in matters of life and death; we can be confident of salvation. Our trials and sufferings in this world give us daily hope of a world tomorrow, where suffering and pain will become distant memories.

            God’s people rely upon his promise, his blessings, and the comforter of our spirits. Man fears the unknown, but unknown isn’t the landscape we yearn for, it’s the kingdom of God, with Christ firmly seated upon his throne. This is the strength and beauty we seek, it is the one we have spent a lifetime coming to.


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