Sunday, June 26, 2016

Thank God; the New Normal Isn't the Forever Normal

I’m nearing one of those significant birthdays this summer.  It's the “Medicare milestone” of 65. Man alive, can it be that I'm so far removed from that vibrant, skinny kid climbing out of the Green Mountain Swim Club pool as music from the loudspeakers blasted The Beach Boys and the Beatles?

My body, aching from yesterday's walk, answers “oh yes!”

Now I am trying to keep as healthy as possible. Claire and I follow a very strict Paleo diet. We have an aggressive exercise regimen. We see our doctor regularly. But, let's face it, no matter what we do, there is no escaping the rigors of age.  Our bodies begin to disappoint us, even fail us, and we must constantly, courageously adjust to a “new normal.” Many of you know what exactly I’m talking about.

But for the Christian, accepting the “new normal” of aches, pains, limitations, frustrations, loss of memory and mobility, and on and on, is only a temporary state of affairs. For the one who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ for the payment of sin’s awful penalties, the “new normal” is not the “forever normal.” Hallelujah.

Here’s how the apostle Paul (writing with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) puts it 2 Corinthians 2:16-17. “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” And in I Corinthians 15:52, he writes about that splendid moment when our decaying minds and bodies are transformed. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” The Christian’s body will be resurrected in a glorified, holy, and immeasurably healthy state.

And, take hope, my friends; that wonderful, beautiful, and vibrant “new normal” will be forever.

In that day (and throughout the endless days in heaven thereafter), we will experience God’s sweet compensation for what we have endured here. So, hold on and keep looking towards the grace to come when all things are reconciled to God. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

And that’s certainly worth another hallelujah.