Last Sunday, when I was with the kids, Christine accidentally saw my mother inside McDonalds. Immediately, the kids and I ran towards her. I briefly hugged her and told the kids – Christine, Paul, and Angel -- to make “mano po” to “LOLA.” The kids had a nice Mcdo merienda with Lola before going to church … a blessed moment for me as well.
My mother is about beyond her 70s. Like everybody else growing into old age, her body is in decline … her former beauty being replaced by thinning, graying, all-white hair … wrinkles … skin discoloration. She used to live an active working life. But of course, nowadays, she could no longer do things she once could. Still, my mother walks stronger than most senior citizens we see around!
God feeds me again with His precious reminders seeing my mother. It’s an illusion when we used to think we’re invincible during our 20s or 30s as if we got unlimited supply of time. Despite vitamins, workouts, organic food etc, our earthly bodies will keep ticking away in inevitable decline.
All of us will grow old (if not die earlier). Why does God let us get old and weak? Why must our body hurt and deteriorate as the years go by?
Here’s the secret.
I like how one seminary president, Dr. J. Robertson McQuilkin, put it: “I believe God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever. It makes us more eager to leave behind the temporary, deteriorating part of us and be truly homesick for our eternal home. If we stayed young and strong and beautiful, we might never want to leave!”
To survive and thrive during old age, the spirit must be fed. In that way, we can break free beyond the constraints of this temporary human body. “Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys of heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4: 17-18). Believe me, while it’s true that we get worse physically as we get older, it’s possible to get better spiritually with age!
I praise God for my mother and her longevity. I also praise and thank Him for the gracious times I have had making up with her. God is good!