Friday, April 29, 2016


Human infants are born self-centered. We understand their helplessness and willingly care for them when instinctively their five senses cry out to be satisfied. All they know is themselves. Only as they grow and develop into maturity do they gradually become able to care for their own bodies.

Throughout the seasons of life our bodily upkeep remains at the top of our priority list. As one reaches the prime of life and beyond into the later calendar years, we may, however, find ourselves focusing overly much on our bodily aches and pains and our health and healing. We can become preoccupied with the bodily maintenance and repair of our “earth suit.” 

All such efforts consume our time and attention and taint our precious remaining years. We seem to shuttle between doctors' appointments or perhaps the health club for workouts or in pursuit of the latest discoveries in diet and nutrition. Pharmacy stops for prescriptions are part of our regular schedule. The older we get the more our physical infrastructure is breaking down, resulting in even more time and energy--and money--spent on keeping our “clay dust” in running order. We can become so self-absorbed that “gazing at our navel,” so to speak, can become our new normal in our seasoned years and the topic of most peer group discussions.

Is there anything wrong with that? After all, isn't self-care commendable? Of course, we should be responsible stewards of the human body God has given us. However, it is a matter of the proper eternal perspective and balance. We need to understand God's overall plan for this “clay dust” into which He breathed the breath of life and on which we are spending so much time.

The entire sweep of Scripture and of Jesus' teaching and His healing ministry on earth speak loudly about the value that God puts on our human bodies, not just our souls. We are told to "present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God...." We are assured that God cares for our mortal bodies. Although Jesus knew that the people He healed would eventually die, He still had compassion and healed their infirmities and hurting bodies. Most of us, I dare say all of us, have some friends and family facing bodily illnesses of various severity, as well as ourselves.

We also experience the loss of friends and loved ones through the years because eventually the “clay dust” on which we have spent so much time passes away. When the body finally gives out and God's purpose for its earthly journey is complete, the soul temporarily separates from it. Nevertheless, God still has big, beautiful plans in store for our mortal bodies as well as our souls. Our bodies are not simply abandoned discards when the breath has gone from them. Our “earth suits” are not throw-aways of no value. God's eternal plan is to resurrect our bodies of flesh and transform them into immortal bodies suitable for living in an eternal dimension. “Do you believe this?” Jesus asked the grieving Martha, who confirmed that she did believe in the resurrection and in Him, who declared, "I AM the Resurrection and the Life."

To God our bodies are not mere “clay dust” but precious “gold dust!” He has destined us to live with Him forever--body and soul united again--in these very bodies which we have been caring for diligently all these years.

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