You don’t have to be 90 to lose heart. “Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12.” (jasonfoundation.com) People of every age can lose heart.
Thankfully, my senior friend, after said she wanted to die, brightened a bit and said, “Or maybe I should wait for the Lord.”
In a nutshell, she described the Bible’s advice about living down here. The apostle, Paul, wrote it this way:
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
“These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
“For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not hand-made—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration.
“Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!
“The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet!
“Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–5:9, The Message)
Paul’s words teach us to:
- Be realistic. Don’t be surprised. This life “often looks like things are falling apart on us.”
- SEE the invisible. “The things we can’t see now will last forever…” Focus on them.
- Believe in Jesus and “the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.”
- Listen for the Holy Spirit, who through Jesus’ salvation, “puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.”
- Know that we will each stand before Jesus someday. Therefore, “cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.”
Paul’s words motivate us to stick it out!
My octogenarian friend gives us the final word–“Wait for the Lord!”
“Giv’m heaven!”—John Parker
John Parker serves with Connections Simple Church of Chowchilla meeting 10 AM Sundays at Carty Center, 609 W. Robertson Blvd. Learn more at: www.simplechurchsuccess.com or contact John at (209) 564-7201