I heard a minister of another church telling a story about a lady who came to talk to him. She said, ‘When I was young, I always thought that when I grew up I would first have pimples then move on to dimples and finally have wrinkles. All very dignified. What I did not expect was to get into my mid-forties and have all three’!
It is hard to deal with the reality that our bodies fail us - and the older we get, the worse it gets.
Add to that the fact that we live in a world which is obsessed with body image and you have to wonder how Christians are to feel about our God-given perishing bodies?
I’ve been reading 2 Corinthians 5 and it has some answers for us. Paul says, “We know that if our temporary, earthly dwelling is destroyed, we have a building in the heavens, not made with hands”. Paul is assuring the Corinthians that even in the worst case - death - we Chris- tians have a great hope.
He goes on to say, ‘Indeed, we groan in this body, desiring to put on our dwelling from heav- en....[and] we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are’.
Paul wants us to consider our bodies like ‘tents’ because they are temporary dwelling places for this life. As temporary shelters they are mortal and subject to decay. But he reminds us that ‘while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord’.
The point he is making is that we have a rea- son to be confident in this age even in these temporary bodies. Our confidence comes from
the fact that our true home is not here but it is with the Lord. Therefore, he says, ‘whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him’.
We might be battling pimples, dimples and wrin- kles but God promises to transform our bod- ies from these temporary tents to imperishable ones that will not hinder us or shame us in any way into eternity.
It is true that we need to recognise our physical- ity and care for our bodies as best we can. But chasing after our world’s idea of a good body is always going to end up disappointing.
If you are struggling with your body letting you down then remember it is only a temporary tent. God has already put a deposit on our new bod- ies - he gave us his Spirit as a downpayment. Therefore Paul says, ‘we can look forward to being fully satisfied at home with the Lord’.
-- Jason Veitch