I found myself in a roomful of seniors, mostly ailing; an all too familiar sight to the staff at the facility, but not so familiar to me. As we visited, I recognized one woman who was an acquaintance of mine more that 25 years ago. I had admired her back then. She had been a professional business woman; thriving, successful, strong, influential and always dressed to the nines. Her social life as booming as her business, she didn’t want for friends. But this day, she was frail and vulnerable, feeble and weak. As we spoke, she confessed,” I don’t know what happened to me. I was happy, retired and planting my garden. And the next thing I know, I’m in here. I don’t understand it.” My eyes filled with tears. She was helpless and hopeless. I saw the transformation from viable contributing adult to aging and dependent senior.
This brief encounter caused me to ask myself, “What am I striving for? Bronze skin, perfect physique, popularity, money and admiration? What am I trying to achieve in my few short years here? " I was reminded of Proverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. I am not judging. I honestly know nothing about her personal life, only my perception of it. And I pray that she knows Jesus. But I was prompted to think about my own transition into later seasons of life. I need to remind myself to be caring for my soul and my spiritual life as dutifully as I care for and adorn my dying body. These temporary bodies will fail us. Our souls however will live on. Are you feeding your soul healthy things, like time in His Word and time in prayer? Are you nurturing your relationship with Jesus as fervently as you nourish with beauty products? It is not the reflection we see in the mirror that matters. It’s that we reflect Jesus to the world. It is not the brand names and trends that cover our bodies, but knowing that Jesus’ death and resurrection covered our sin debt. The money will come and go but a right relationship with God is priceless.
While self care is vital, let’s be careful not to let vanity become our identity.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray today that your Holy Spirit prompt me to nurture my soul with care and feed it with the words of scripture. May I grow in knowledge of and relationship with you as my body ages, so that I am ready for you on the last day. Be with the aging, Lord. As their suffering may increase, may your perfect peace be with them and comfort them. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10b A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.