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I am having to sit and let the world go by at the moment. Not something I find easy, but good for me, I guess. Sunday a week ago, I had to run to fetch the car for my wife and I, in a thunder storm. After about twenty paces I was thinking to myself, “I have not run like this for years. I think I am doing quite well.” Then, OUCH!! I stumbled and nearly fell. My left calf-muscle was torn. I hobbled in great pain as far as where the car was parked and managed to drive us home, soaking wet. Overnight and the next day, the pain meant that I could barely stand, but I knew no bones were broken, I just had to rest my leg and wait for it to heal.

Day by day I have gradually recovered some mobility, enough to walk slowly and carefully a short distance, but for most of the day I have to sit and watch the world go by. I am not used to it. The calf is getting better slowly, but it is still swollen and sometimes still painful.

I am of course well into my 80s and my wife and I are not as active as we used to be in any case. Without too much frustration, we have allowed ourselves to slow down and found more sedentary occupations. But this is different. I do see that it is, maybe, a sign of other trials to come. One of the things we have to face in old age is a decline in our faculties, both physical and mental. Nobody had told me that at 83 I should not try to run, but obviously I should not do so now. I am also getting absent-minded.

However, reading Psalm 24 this morning I began to see the whole of our lives and indeed the whole world in a new perspective.

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it: the world and all who live in it.”

The big picture is that God created the world and everything in it; he watches over it; everything is in his hands. One day this world will come to an end; it will be wound up and destroyed by fire. It will then be replaced by a New World, and that will be the eternal home of all those of us who have loved and served God and trusted in the Lord Jesus.

So, yes, I want to go on serving God, and indeed fulfilling his calling on my life to be a missionary, in any way that I can as long as I live. But all these ups and downs as the years go by are just hiccups in the course of our lives, temporary as they are in this world. Our eyes should be fixed, ‘in sickness and in health’ on the glory that is to be revealed, and the promise of eternal life that, all undeserving as we are, God has promised to those who love him.

And yes, I also read Psalm 25 this morning.

“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.”


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