The Battle Has Already Been Won4
by McLeod Meek
This year I turned 50, and I have to admit I've been having some difficulties with it. Ages ago, when I was 49, I felt as spry as a spring chicken, but now every joint and muscle in my body screams out in pain. To this, the problem worsens since I can't hear them screaming because my ears feel like they have cotton shoved in them and I can't pull out the cotton because my eyes are so bad I can't see wll enough to grab it!! All of these new sayings (like 30 is the new 20 adn 70 is the new 60 blah blah blah) make no sense; to me 50 is the new 80!!! In my mind, I'm still a 25 year old bucking Bronco who wants to jump fences and run for hours across the fields o fgrain! My wife always says I'm a little boy in a big boy body. I just tell her I'm preparing myself for eternity because, as Matthew 18:1 says, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven"!
I take pride in my youthful spirit, but I must be honest when I say that life seemed easier in days past. With one child in college and another close behind, I can really for the first time start to sense time slipping away from me. A house that was once full of laughter and activity every day of the week is now eerily quiet most of the time. It's not a good feeling. As parents, we really take for granted those perfect moments: when everyone is happy and healthy; safely tucked away in their beds and all seems right in the universe. Those moments seem few and far between now. It's the natural progression of things, but it's forced me to take stock of where I am as a Christian father, husband, leader in our church. I often look back and wish I had done some things differently or spent more time and energy on one thing or another. It's easy to feel regret when looking at your past because most things never work out exactly like you planned.
What I have come to understand, though, is that the regrets work themselves out the way God planned. (Thank you, Lord, for that!) I enjoyed Tyler's blog about God's sovereignty in our lives and how it all works out with our will. In the way that I understand it, God is fully in control of our nature and we have freedom to make decisions within that nature. Our decisions do have consequences, but can never defer God's master plan for our lives. He is constantly working out all things, good and bad, for his glory. Understanding this wisdom is crucial to our spiritual state of mind, especially when we get older and realize that we truly are fallible. If we were forced to rely on the outcome of all of our decisions alone, it would be. a frightening existence. Where, then, is hope? Hope is what gets me up in the morning, gives me joy in the day and hope is what puts a smile on my face before I go to bed. Hope in my eternal father who loves me despite all my misgivings and loves my family more than I ever could!
Now that I'm entering the second half of my life, I find myself not praying as much for specific things, but asking the Lord for more wisdom. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them.'" This passage gives me pause because it's essentially saying, get ready because old age is no walk in the park! When my family and I are going through something difficult, we look at each other and beg, "Please come back today, Jesus!!" It's easy to say that with a certain lightness to it, but in my mind, I'm always thinking, "No really, God, please do!" I feel like, in my older age, that I can really sense the groaning of the Earth and our existence here. We were not meant for this broken world. We are meant for so much more and a world where there is no aging, no pain, no fears, no sickness - just pure peace with our Lord Jesus walking with us. I look towards that glorious day with great hope and anticipation! In the meantime, we are called to hold our chins up and walk with confidence and know that the Lord is leading adn guiding us towards that glorious end despite ourselves and Satan trying to trip us up at every turn. We must always remember that the battle has already been won! I wrote that phrase on a slip of paper and put it in the dash of my truck where I can see it daily and reflect on it. Maybe someone who reads this will do the same. "The Battle Has Already Been Won!"