Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Have Made, and I Will Bear


This is my daughter's 4-month old puppy, Ragnar, begging 13-year-old Lucky to play. Lucky was not mean about his total lack of interest in playing, but he made it clear no playing was left in those old bones.


Ragnar had the eternal optimism of youth. He watched the sleeping Lucky, and barked. Lucky ignored him. Ragnar barked some more, and began pestering him. Lucky finally had enough and growled.


Ragnar backed off, wagging his tail.  He tried to pounce on poor Lucky next. We put Lucky in a quiet back room and closed the door. He laid down with a groan.

I want to be a Ragnar, but frankly, I am more in the age group of Lucky. Yesterday, just five days post- major surgery, I brought the car in for a three-hour recall repair, walked seven miles, and shopped two hours looking for compression shorts to use as pajamas.

I was totally exhausted afterwards. Everything hurt. It is easy to do too much, thinking I am still young, and will bounce back easily from anything. It is a rude awakening to find, like poor Lucky, that is no longer an option. It could be depressing if I gave in to all the ramifications.

But here is the good news! (There is always good news!) God knows we are getting old! He knows we can't do what we used to do. He knows our hair is grey (even if we color it...) and He knows our skin looks like crinkled cellophane. He knows that when we bend over, strange loose skin droops off our body like sheets of rhinoceros skin. He knows our joints creak and ache, our wounds heal slowly, and our energy is waning. He knows we are appalled and wonder when and how all this disintegration began.

And here is what He has to say about it: 

Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. (Isaiah 46:4)

God will be with us to the very end. When we cannot walk, He will carry us. He is our creator, and will not allow His creation to bear death alone. He will carry us across the threshold to eternal life, where we trade in these deteriorating, sinful carcasses for perfection.

I don't know about you, but that makes me feel a little better. I will go whisper that in Lucky's old, deaf ears.

*************

Psalm 92:12-15 

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

2 Corinthians 4:16 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

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