It was a man named Georg Christoph Lichtenberg that once said, "Nothing makes one old so quickly as the ever-present thought that one is growing older."
That "ever-present thought" has been with me lately. Last month, my sweet husband turned 40. Last week, I enjoyed yet another birthday of my own; and no, I won't say how old... a lady never tells her age, you know
I'm really not "old" yet, and I know that. Still, time has began to wear on us a bit. My husband's hair has gotten quite gray. We have occasional back pain and acid reflux. I just had some very necessary dental work done. These issues didn't exist for the two of us just a few short years ago. They are a reminder that time is quickly slipping away, that we, like everyone else, are getting older. Our bodies aren't the same as they once were.
We are entering a different season of life.
It's true, you know, that every season has a beauty all its own: winter's glistening snow, the flowering buds of spring, summer-ripened fruits and vegetables, and autumn's beautiful array of colors. Perhaps the fact that seasons do change is a part of what makes each one so beautiful.
Often, we become so enthralled with our season of youth that we can become quite depressed at the realization that we are growing older. Seasons change, and so do we. It's a natural, normal progression of life.
Growing up, we had a beautiful flowering apple tree in front of our home. The flowers were absolutely breath-taking each spring, and we marveled in that beauty. Still, those flowers could not stay on the tree forever; if that happened, the apple tree would miss out on bearing it's abundant fruit for others to enjoy and be nourished by.
Isn't it wonderful to know that as we age, we can continue to mature in Christ and bring forth godly fruit? Psalms 1 encourages us that, if we delight in the Lord and meditate on Him day and night, we will bring forth fruit in our own season. In Jeremiah 17, we find that we are blessed if we continue to trust in the Lord, that we shall not "cease from yielding fruit" (v.8). What a blessing we can be to others!
We can grow in our fear and reverence of the Lord and become more beautiful in our spirit as time goes by. He is molding us, shaping, leading us so that we bring forth the fruit that He desires of us. Perhaps we will begin to see God use that fruit to bless the lives of those around us as we are steadfast in love, patience, goodness, and gentleness (Galatians 5:22).
When you look closely in the mirror today, you may find a bit more gray, or perhaps a new line or wrinkle. Rejoice, though, in knowing that while our outward beauty may be fleeting and vain, a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30).
A God-honoring, inner beauty will produce fruit in due season and never wrinkle, and I am so grateful for that. Which fruit is He producing in you today?
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