Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | December 15, 2020

Don’t Waste The Wasting

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Whatever your age, one thing is for sure: you are getting older. From young childhood, though, “getting older” was a constant desire. As teenagers, we couldn’t wait to be independent adults. In our early 20s, we looked forward to having that better job, more money, and perhaps a spouse and family. But once there are more than 45 or so candles on the cake, a few shifts happen.

First, time starts flying by—quicker every year. We blink, and another birthday is upon us. Second, if we have kids, those physical demands of parenting young children morph into emotional stressors that seem to grow as they do, remaining even after they leave the house and marry. But beyond the emotional, psychological, familial, and career shifts that occur into our fourth, fifth, or sixth decade of life, one of the biggest is physical.

I don’t know about you, but when I turned 48, everything changed for me. The same workouts I’d been doing at the gym seemed to no longer bring strength—they induced pain. Even as I become more careful with physical activities of every kind, each year (seemingly by the week), I experience more aches and random discomfort. (I heard a comedian say that once we turn 50, we can literally wake up with a sprained ankle. If you’re over 50, you’re probably laughing.)

So, what does this “it hurts to get old” talk have to do with spiritual truth? Well, after herniating a disc a few months ago and now living in consistent back pain, I was comforted to read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians, chapter 4, acknowledging the fact that our bodies are wasting away (v16). But, praise God, this body is not our permanent residence! As we walk with the Lord, becoming more like Him the longer we travel this world with Him, our spirits are being renewed. We are growing and flourishing inwardly while our exterior is fading. Our pain and aches in this life are indeed “momentary and light” as compared with our eternal glorified bodies.

I know that some days it’s very hard to keep that perspective—Paul knew it too. That’s why he finishes his thought by reminding us to fix our eyes not on what is seen (or physically felt), but on what is unseen—our spiritual existence and eternal home (v18).

Honestly, I think that the slowing down, the aches, and the constant physical reminders of decades gone by are God’s way of keeping our focus on the right thing (Him) and in the right place (Heaven). Perhaps we can, with each twinge of discomfort or shot of outright pain, turn to the Lord in thanksgiving that something so much better awaits us.

“Father, thank You that this world is not our home and this body is not our permanent dwelling. As I ask to be physically strengthened and healthy in this life, please also keep me appreciative of the life to come.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Ministry


  1. I’ve had a herniated disk — so painful. Praying you’ll get some relief. Praise God that we are being spiritually renewed. May we continue to remember this as our bodies age.

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