Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Challenges of Aging - Martin Wiles

Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT

“I guess I’m just dying.”

For five years, we had attempted to get a doctor to test Mom for dementia. We saw the signs—not many, but they were coming with more regularity. Since her mom had contracted dementia and then Alzheimer’s, we were concerned. Each doctor swept our concerns under the rug. They asked her a few questions, and then told her she was okay. They only saw the snapshot; we saw the full picture.

Then one day, Mom fell at a local department store and hit the back of her head. We sent her to the emergency room where they did a CT. The scan showed white-matter brain disease, which a number of things can cause. When her family physician reviewed the results, he agreed to refer her to a neurologist.

The neurologist asked Mom several normal questions. She answered them all correctly. No signs of confusion. Then he drew an analog clock face and told her to fill it in and to show the time as 10:30. Confusion reared its ugly head. Mom drew the clock and numbers backward, as well as the time.

Mom’s rendition of the clock led the doctor to put her on medicine. He also scheduled an MRI to look further at her brain.

What we’ll have to undergo with Mom before she dies, we don’t know. One thing we do know: aging brings challenges. My wife and I are already facing them, and we’re not as old as Mom.

Mom’s words when she and my wife left the doctor’s office rang truer than she knew. In fact, we are all dying from the moment we take our first breath. Even though God used Paul to spread the gospel to the Gentile world, Paul knew his body was giving out. Thankfully, his spirit wasn’t.

None of us can stop the aging process. It affects some more than others, but we all face some aspects of living in bodies that break down as they grow older. We can eat right and exercise our bodies and minds, but we’ll still age. The culprit is sin, which made its entrance into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve long years ago.

What we can do is keep going—at least in some way. Physical disabilities confine some, but even under confinement we can pray, send cards, email, make calls, and text. God doesn’t want us to retire from his work.

Preparing for death is important also. Mom has written her obituary and made all the arrangements, but her greatest preparation came when she trusted Christ as her Savior. That’s true for anyone.

Don’t fear the challenges of aging. God’s grace will see you through each one.

Prayer: Father, give us grace and strength to face the aging process with faith in You. 

Tweetable: How are you facing the challenges of aging? 

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