Let The Lord Renew Your Strength (Writer's Opinion)
GROVE, OK (ANS - September 25, 2016) -- "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint" - Isaiah 40:31 (ESV).
In the past, I led an active lifestyle, running and exercising to stay fit. Next month, I'm facing knee replacement surgery.
I can't experience the thrill of a runner's high anymore. When my running days were over, I was forced to race walk. Now, I walk with a sturdy stick to help me navigate through my neighborhood. Osteoarthritis has set in because of the breakdown of joint cartilage, limiting my movements and causing pain.
When you're used to being physically active and can no longer enjoy those things you have in the past, you have to adapt. There are days when I climb stiffly out of bed. I find the aging of my temporal body hard to accept.
One recent morning, I felt sorry for myself, silently lamenting my limitations. Then, I opened the shades covering the back door to my deck where I spied four squirrels chasing each other on the railing. Watching their playful antics, I was filled with joy. After a good laugh, I realized how blessed I am.
Other than bad knees, I'm in good health. Although I can't run anymore, God renews my strength each day. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul reminds us not to lose heart. "Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."
Pastor George Sweeting once said, "Experts in aging make a distinction between passive aging and purposeful aging. Successful, purposeful aging calls for continued involvement, relationships, discipline, and an attitude of faith."
On a website dedicated to Sweeting's memory, his son wrote, "Dad modeled retirement for all of us. His idea of retirement was not golfing in Florida or Arizona. In fact, I don't think he believes in retirement. Many people these days don't believe in heaven. So the retirement dream for them becomes a kind of secular heaven. But dad believes you don't really retire. You keep serving the Lord and mentoring the next generation as long as you can. Not only is this a great investment, and not only does this kind of serving prolong your life, but I sense dad really believes it will be rewarded by heaven's rest. So for him, a big fat retirement down here is not an option. And slowing down is not a happy prospect. He sometimes says, 'Life is like water skiing, when you slow down, you go down!'"
Although an aging body does require us to modify our activities, one thing will never change. God's promises through His Word can renew our spiritual and even physical strength, day after day, regardless of age or physical condition. After all, age is just a number.
Writing to spread the Good News, encouraging others on their journey and mentoring younger women gives me a sense of purpose since "retirement" from education. Are you making the most of the life and the strength that is yours for today?
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