“Where there is hope there can be faith, where there is faith miracles can occur”. This is not a scriptural quote but words of encouragement offered by Hope in a Jar, an anti-aging skin cream. Cosmetic proverbs and youth adages are more memorable now than scriptural quotes. Modern day testimonies do not boast of the supernatural but rather strides in fighting the natural, “…women told us their skin looked 730 days younger!”, “anti-aging transformation – younger looking skin from 1st contact!”. Youthfulness is the new godliness with its own set of sought after miraculous outcomes. It is a shame to go gray, worse to go bald – to sag and wrinkle denotes failure. In all that our culture exalts ,the preservation of youth and the ‘religion’ of self importance is the intrinsic command, Thou Shalt Not Grow Old. Assuredly our prevailing and persuasive culture rises up in defiance to God’s wisdom and Living Word.
“The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old” (Proverbs 20:29)
God is not anti-age, He is pro-eternal. While His good creation holds wonderful things that bring health and healing, extending youth is not a priority. In fact, the aged are esteemed before the Lord, they are to be honored,
“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” (Leviticus 19:32)
There is no miracle in the Bible where wrinkles disappear. That would be so far beneath the awesome power and character of God. The miraculous intervention of God for the aged is this: God has indwelled elderly men and moved through them – making their frail bodies powerful vessels for His honor and glory in the world. The Lord has confounded the world and its superficial glories with His Spirit in the lives of those surrendered to Him. At age 80, an old shepherd of flocks, Moses was called by God,
“I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
The Lord did not call Moses in the strength of his youth as he resided in the palace of Pharaoh, the epicenter of world power. God waited until Moses was emptied of all youthful strength and bravado, all worldly resources and influences – indeed, void of inner ability that would rob God of all victorious glory. “When I am weak, then I am strong” declared the apostle Paul (II Corinthians 12:10). When I am weak, and dependent on the Lord for His indwelling strength and power, then I am strong – stronger than any man who depends on the power of flesh.
The world culture continually exalts our temporal and physical life through sexuality, materialism and youthfulness – while squelching our spiritual life into dormancy. Jesus proclaimed the opposite as truth for life,
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.” (John 6:63)
Looking young is not wrong, but the quest for youth will yield what counts for nothing. In striving against old age we may miss the greatest renewal of life available to mankind, not in anti-aging, but found only in being born again. When we come to Christ, in repentance and surrender, His Spirit gives our spirit life, springing forth a miraculous newness.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (II Corinthians 5:17)
Through sensual displays and celebrity ideals, this world calls us to strive and hope for the temporal – that which counts for nothing. A glittering facade can blind us from the Light of the World, from Whom we receive the gift of eternal life.
Thou Shalt Grow Old, and our flesh turned back to dust. Let us not settle for “looking 760 days younger” but turn to Jesus Christ, through whom our weakness becomes strength and our death – victory.