Monday, March 4, 2013
Cultivating Contentment in Christ ~ Part 3
I am an octogenarian who would like to share with you the blessed experience of cultivating contentment in Christ in our senior years of life. No, I'm not telling you that I have worked out all of it and am ready with all the answers. I'm finding it to be a daily learning experience accompanied by victory as I dig ( and I do mean dig) into God's Word for answers. God has wonderfully blessed my years with health, strength, and vigor, which He has channeled into multiple venues of service for Him. I had found it hard to ever realize my age -- until recently. I can now begin to identify with many of you who have been telling me what it is like. So, let's think together positively about the "glory of aging."
It goes without saying that the first answer to this phase of life is found in God's Word. Do open your Bible and carefully/reflectively read the comforting words found in Isaiah 40:28-31. Oh yes, you are familiar with it, but as you read it, claim it for how you feel right now. Now, ip over to 1 Corinthians 4:16 where we are told that although our outward [person] is decaying our inward [person] is being renewed each day. My husband, John, reminds me that God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves. "Renewal is not automatic, it is major life activity" (Francis Grubbs, The Glory of Aging, p. 93).
How and where do we start to be daily renewed? It starts with the mind which affects our heart. Yes, and it involves the will, as well. Our sinful mind, heart, and will must be transformed. We may deeply/desperately yearn and even try to be better and to do better. Our efforts will fail. Only God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, can effect this change. He is our overcomer. He gives victory. He has promised, "Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass" (Psa. 37:5). We will go deeper into this study on our next blog post.
Let's take a lesson from an eight-year-old girl who was blinded at birth by a quack physician. "Oh what a happy child I am, although I cannot see! I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be! How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't! So weep or sigh because I'm blind, I cannot -- nor I won't." (Frances Jane Crosby)
It is our unfailing hope in God and our ever present blessed hope of spending eternity with Him in glory that floods our spirit with unspeakable joy. Joy is fulfillment!
To " Set your mind on...Christ" (Col. 3:2) and His promises, is a dictate that serves us well in our declining years. He is our refuge. Underneath are His everlasting arms. He will faithfully carry us through every stormy blow, every weakness, every fear! He will never fail! He has promised!
" Even to your old age , I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! Even I will carry, and will deliver you." God is speaking directly to you and to me through the pen of Isaiah (46:4).
(to be continued)