He called on his way home from fly fishing, Get out the ibuprofen. Putting his foot down on a loose, slippery rock in the river, he twisted his already gimpy ankle.
We rarely have conversations during the day that don’t include assessment of our physical bodies. Every morning Matt hobbles down the stairs on stiff ankles, and we exchange the question, How did you sleep? The answer is rarely positive.
On Sunday I checked in on a family member’s thyroid condition.
Dad let me know how he is healing up from radiation treatments.
A student stayed home sick from school yesterday.
A sweet friend is drawing close to Jesus.
Our bodies are perishable, and nobody has to talk hard to convince us of that.
Paul speaks long about these bodies of ours, using words like dishonor, weakness, natural, perishable. He thanks God that death will be “swallowed up in victory,” thanks to God and the life he gives us in Christ.
But then Paul gives an instruction that makes me sit forward.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV)
While we’re making an appointment with the doctor or shaking the ibuprofen out of the bottle or waking up groggy after a night of sleeplessness, what should we do?
Give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.
Do valuable work that stores up treasure for ourselves in heaven.
Because every joint pain and chronic illness and disease screams, Life is short, and imperishable, glorious bodies are coming. Do something that matters for eternity!
It’s hard, having achy bodies that are getting older. (Knowing you’re very close to needing bifocals.) Easy to use all available energy to gripe or moan.
But let the pain and ailments serve as a springboard for us today, launching us into meaningful work for the Lord.
There is an expiration date. Use your body while you can.