Hope For The Lamentations Of An Aging Man


A recent instructor of a Sunday School class said, “When I was in my early twenties I never thought I would be fifty. But here I am.” I remember having the same thoughts. I specifically recall, as a boy, figuring up how old I would be in the year 2000. It seemed so far away, and 44 was an impossible age to fathom for my young mind. I have been having trouble with my back as of late. So I went to the doctor who recommended I have some x-rays done. They show minor arthritis in my neck and lower back. I’m now on medication. Lately I have been waking up during the night because of pain in my neck. The prescription helps. As I ponder my life, I am left to lament, “Is this what I get when all is said and done!” I am reminded of a line out the movie Shawshank Redemption. After spending almost his entire life behind bars a convict named Red is up for parole…again. He is asked if he has been rehabilitated. Part of his classic reply was:

“Not a day goes by I don’t feel regret, and not because I’m in here or because you think I should. I look back on myself the way I was…stupid kid who did that terrible crime…wish I could talk sense to him. Tell him how things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone, this old man is all that’s left, and I have to live with that”

I was struck by the phrase, “this old man is all that’s left, and I have to live with that”. The older your body gets, the more you begin to appreciate the power, the beauty, and the magnificence of its glory. It truly is God made, and God-given! But the bodies we were given, in this life, are temporal. That truth is driven home the longer you reside on this earth. Yet, there is a strong rebuttal to my lamentation of “is this what I get?” Of course it isn’t! Echoing Red’s words of “This old man is all that’s left” for me may be true. But I don’t have to “live with that”. At least not forever! Someday I will be that “kid” again. This is part of the great message that Jesus brought to the world. He broke the bands of death so that all of us may become “kids” again! The scriptures testified that at the time of Christ’s resurrection, that

“…the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matt. 27:52-53)

And so, as true believers in Christ, we have the triumphant words of Paul, written to the Corinthians:

“Behold, I shew you a mystery…we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:51-55)

The time will come when the lamentation of man will be soothed. Then shall the mystery of how Christ shall overcome the sting of death be revealed to all! Then shall every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:11) So, as time continues onward, all of us experience the pain and suffering that comes with the onset of age. Different trials come with the aging of the body. New challenges! And if we are blessed enough to have a long sojourn in this life, the time comes when we all wish for younger days, back to an age when our bodies were healthy and strong. The message of hope for that return is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only hope for the lamentations of an aging man!


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