2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
She loved running. This passion fueled her for many years. But one day the excruciating pain in her knees and hips drove her to see her doctor. After waiting for x-ray results, the dreaded diagnosis hit her smack in the face. “I hate to tell you this, but you have osteoarthritis,” the doctor informed. Unfamiliar with the condition, she pleaded with her doctor to explain this culprit—the very thing interfering with her running. Losing heart, she dropped her head in despair.
Osteoarthritis. Not something any runner wants to hear. But the truth is, as we age, osteoarthritis becomes an issue for one out of every two people. Also known as a degenerative joint disease, it causes inflammation and pain in one or more joints. A lifetime of walking, exercising and moving around in general takes a toll on our cartilage. Once arthritis of this type sets in, the cartilage deteriorates, which can lead to bone scraping against bone. Even if you don’t develop osteoarthritis, the stark truth remains: We lose muscle tone and bone strength the older we get!
Dear friend, don’t let this truth bring you down. It’s an uncontrollable fact that our physical bodies will wear down. They won’t last forever. Even the bodies of the most elite runners will eventually wear out. Living in a fallen world, all human beings have a common condition. It’s called sin. But as followers of Christ, we don’t have to lose heart. We don’t have to drop our heads in despair. We can rejoice! Why? Our soul doesn’t waste away. Our soul is renewed day by day. We become more like Christ through the process of sanctification. The more we seek after him, the stronger our faith becomes. The more we rest in his presence, the power of sin loses its grip on us. The more we humbly surrender to his calling, the more he increases in us.
And the good news gets even better. Even after our physical bodies wear out and we take our last breath on this earth, we are immediately ushered into the presence of God. We’ll see him face-to-face. He promises us a brand new resurrection body. A body that won’t wear out. A body that won’t deteriorate. A body without any pain. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get to continue our running journey in heaven. No shin splints. No cramping muscles. No torn ligaments. No aching knees. Can you imagine that?
So until that day comes, we keep on running. We keep pressing on. We run our hearts out until we can’t take another step. No matter what type of physical diagnosis we receive for our earthly body, we’ll graciously accept it when that time comes. In the meantime, we keep running in our spiritual race. We keep pressing into Jesus. We run our heart out until our last breath. We can rejoice in the fact that we’ve already received our spiritual diagnosis. We are sinners saved by grace.
READY? Is your life currently affected by any physical pain? What are you most looking forward to when you will experience living in a brand new body in heaven? Whether you have physical pain or not, is your faith growing stronger? What steps do you need to take to keep God the center of your life?
GET SET. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
GO! Lord Jesus, I feel weary sometimes living in this physical body! Help me not to focus solely on my physical condition, but to embrace caring for the soul you’ve given me. Thank you for the promise of a new body in heaven. But even more so, thank you for the promise of seeing you face-to-face one day. Help me live in such a way that my life pleases you for the days I run my race of faith on this earth. Amen.