St. Paul tells us, there’s no wasting away with Jesus: “We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:13-18 NRSV).
“Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” We look for the “fountain of youth,” or “Never-Never Land,” or we get caught up in a dreamy whirlwind and come down in the Land of Oz. We may change or prolong our lives by good habits or maybe we just have good genes, but at best, after fourscore and five years, our days are numbered in the natural life. Paul tells us not to lose heart, for as our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed. Gravity wears out our bodies but it can’t hurt our spirit.
The character “Dorothy” in The Wizard of Oz found out that there is no place like home. After dreaming about her getaway to Oz, Dorothy realized the value of her home. And where is home for us? It has been said that, “Home is where the heart is.” If our heart is filled with love for God brought on by the love of God then we are at home with Him. When we realize that everything is for our sake, our hearts move to and fill up with the love of God. And the more gravity and other natural world stresses cave us in, the more we grow strong in the Spirit.
God, through Jesus, started the first and largest ever “pyramid” organization. As St. Paul puts it, “So that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” It is up to us to keep the pyramid going so that it grows exponentially. At the point, so all can see, is Christ Jesus. There is a difference between a worldly pyramid and the pyramid of Christ Jesus. His pyramid is inverted. The point is at the bottom and supports all of the other layers above. More layers are added every day, but His power and strength supports them.
Jesus carries us through our hard times. He is our example. In Matthew 11:28-30 (NRSV) Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” God has raised His Son and He will raise us up also. When our outer nature is gone we will fully achieve God’s presence.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.