I always thought I would age gracefully. Nope. One glimpse at the first few wrinkles in the mirror and I knew I was going fighting, kicking and screaming all the way. It’s not exactly aging gracefully, is it, when you find yourself going through the mile-long counter of miracle wrinkle creams at the department store and you come home with one of each?
Sadly, it’s not been the most successful battle. Several vats of creams later, there are places on this face that don’t care that it was very expensive miracle cream. And it’s weird because some body parts seem to age faster than others. It’s like there are parts that age in dog years for some reason. I didn’t see that one coming. Age? It fights dirty.
The good news is that the age battle isn’t really the important battle. When I finish this life, I want to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Not, “Wow, you look pretty good for an old gal.” I want to spend my time not just fighting, but fighting the “good” fight. I want to fight for what is good and precious. Like life.
I truly believe our God is pleased with our battle on behalf of the innocent. There is sadness that’s almost unspeakable each time a precious baby is deprived the privilege of aging. The fight on behalf of those precious ones is not an easy fight. But it’s a worthy one.
I love David’s prayer in Psalm 139 to the Creator of life. “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began” (Ps. 139:13-16).
Each person, crafted and created with great purpose, precious cell by precious cell. It’s a work of love – each one worth fighting for. It’s a battle worthy of our energy.
At the end of everything Paul spent his energy on here on earth, he was able to say in 2 Tim. 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” We get glimpses into some of his battles throughout the New Testament and from history – and Paul’s battles were anything but easy. But were they worthy? Scripture is brimming with evidence that they were.
Isn’t it sweet, by the way, to think of Paul reaping the rewards for his every worthy battle even now? Paul is in the presence of Christ. It doesn’t get better than that! He is experiencing joy we can’t even begin to imagine. The battles were short compared to the rewards he’ll experience eternally. I imagine every worthy battle he ever fought is being followed by sweetness that surprises even him.
I want to put even more effort into fighting every worthy battle than I do fighting the aging-body battle. I would rather be known as one who fought the good fight – puny or not – and I truly want to fight that good fight all my years. Not just the doggy ones.
Rhonda is a pastor’s wife, happily married and living in the St. Louis area. She is a humor columnist for publications in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of 10 books with more on the way. She says she will keep cranking them out as long as the Lord allows. –And the psychoses hold out.