God created us as physical creatures in a physical world, and that’s good. I love the slow melting of dark chocolate held in my mouth. The cleansing experienced riding the motorcycle. The joy of embracing my wife. These, and so much more. But we also face physical frustrations. How do we balance them?
yet I long to soar
playing basketball above the rim
leaping above defenders to snag the football in flight
beating the 30 year old high jump record—on my first attempt
with a vertical life of 6 inches
in my prime
on a good day
when the average triples that
playing center on our college frat’s basketball team
we lost a lot
so intimidated on a high jump in junior high
that I delayed the launch and hit the bordering hay bale
shredding my ankle
But someday, someday
I will soar
We sometimes feel physicality curses us. Our limits, like my lack of leaping ability. Sheila feels the loss of not having a full mane of hair. The pain of injuries and how they incapacitate us. Being sick of being sick. Poverty and not having the physical stuff we need or like. Just name yours. How do we live in an imperfect world that frustrates us? Here’s three tips.
First, enjoy the good we have as a gift from God. “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19). God graced us with so much to enjoy, so let’s do it. Used as a main purpose in life, enjoyment will turn sour, but let’s keep it sweet.
Second, accept the imperfections of life. Maybe I never played as a wide receiver in the NFL, but my body allowed me to play competitive football into my mid 50s. Frankly, I’d rather focus on that than on missing the NFL. And in those areas of loss and hurt and frustration, let’s rely on God’s love and involvement in our lives. After all, “We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Romans 8:28, Message). Realize not all things ARE good, but God works them into that.
Third, realize that earthbound has a complement—heavenbound. While our new bodies will have substance, they’ll transcend the limits of our present ones, “Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, NLT). When I now jump and soar 6 inches, I know I will jump higher. But our new bodies do more—they match heaven. I have no clue all that entails, but I can wait.
Kick Starting the Application
What do you enjoy most about being physical? The least? How do both influence your walk with God? Are you content with that? How often do you ponder getting a new body? Would it help to ponder it more?