Our world is getting weird. Sad and weird. The other day I ran across facebook pictures featuring a huge Satanist gathering. How crazy is that?! People…
In most cases, there’s a point in a woman’s life in which the effects of aging tempt her to get a bit negative about her appearance (a curious irrelevant side note: I have no idea if this happens to men too?). There may be many reasons for this discouragement, but our culture’s obsession with youth is at least partly to blame. We are told we need to look forever young, but nevertheless we keep getting older.
On one level, this aversion to aging is appropriate, even from a biblical angle. Think about it: aging is a sign that our bodies are no longer functioning at their highest capacity (For example, as we age hormones get out of whack, collagen isn’t produced as it once was, we start losing muscle, our metabolism slows down, our bones get more brittle, etc.), and this deterioration is all a result of The Fall. Before sin entered the picture, we were meant to continually operate at peak performance! And we certainly weren’t meant to die (which is what our deterioration is slowly heading towards). So in that sense, sin is the culprit once again. Therefore, it seems fairly appropriate to bemoan the negative effects of aging. It’s all interconnected.
But there are, of course, some other ways to look at aging. In fact, I recently encountered one particular nugget of wisdom from a very unexpected source…
Some Unexpected Wisdom
The other day I was watching a reality-type TV show (which I basically never do!) and I was instantly struck by a particular sentiment that came from a young gal. This 20 year old woman was battling cancer, and she was clearly on the losing side. As she told her story, you could see the heaviness in her eyes as she explained how she longed to be able to grow old. Sadly, it was a gift she knew she would not receive. In other words, looking old, even feeling the inconvenient affects of age, seemed to her a blessing — it meant you were were given more years to live.
In other words, living many many years is a blessing we should not take for granted.
That is a different way to look at aging. Instead of giving into self pity that says, “Poor me, my body is not what it once was,” what if we thought, “How blessed am I, I have an old body because I have been given many years to live!”
And this actually aligns with biblical wisdom…
See Age From a Biblical Perspective
The Lord is the one who gives us life and breath and everything (Acts 17:25). Therefore when he gives us more breaths and more years, that is undoubtedly a good gift. One we ought to be truly thankful for. When God allows us enough years to marry (Proverbs 5:18), or have children (Psalm 127:3), or have grandchildren (Proverbs 17:6), or just live to serve him longer (1 Corinthians 15:58), that is a blessing.
Furthermore, God says older people are worthy of honor — simply because they have been given the gift of age (which hopefully aligns with increased wisdom). In fact, getting specific about the effects of aging, the Bible says grey hair is a crown of glory and splendor (Proverbs 16:31, 20:29). What a countercultural way to look at our wrinkles and grey hair!
Of course we can long for our new youthful bodies that eternity will bring us, but nevertheless living more life is a blessing — and when the mirror reminds us of this blessing, we should respond in gratitude (instead of complaints).
Let’s thank God for every year we’ve been given. For every breath. For the lessons learned in life. For the opportunities to grow and serve him. For the kindness of God that has filled our days. For even the hard times he’s used to grow us.
Let’s truly thank God that our lives were not cut short before we earned the wrinkles we now sport. And if we live to gain some more, may our gratitude only increase. Because even though the culture and the beauty industry say otherwise, aging means you’ve been blessed.