By Mike Gilland
I was privileged to grow up in church, sitting on a pew and listening to
various pastors in both of the churches we attended in my
youth. And, just about every one of those pastors, at one time or
another, quoted a Bible verse that seemed completely irrelevant to
me in my life…at least, at the time.
That verse was 2 Corinthians 4:16, where Paul is encouraging the
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is
wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by
As a boy, I couldn’t relate to my outer self “wasting away.” But, I
knew it was in the Bible, so I tucked that one away for some far off
distant time. Well… that time finally arrived in my life, a LONG time
ago. I have had to come to grips that:
- My game is gone
- My knees are just about gone
- My hair is waving (goodbye)
Yep… I have hit that point of maturity which my parent’s generation
called the “metallic age” – silver in my hair, gold in my teeth, and lead
in my pants!
I had to laugh as I heard the plight of a pastor who once shared about
getting older, and how he had passed an outdoor basketball
court. He stopped for a moment to watch these young guys display
some obvious hoop talent, often playing above the rim. That started
him thinking of the day that he could put his hand above the rim… and
then how the day arrived that he could barely touch the NET!
He smiled, and thought to himself in comparison to those basketball
players, “As they are, I once was…”. Almost immediately, he
thought, ”And… as I now am, they will be…”.
That is so true. Though our culture worships youth, athleticism,
beauty, and other temporal attributes, the truth is… we are ALL
That being the case, the sooner we grab what Paul is saying and
focus on that truth, the better! What was that truth? Here it is:
“…inwardly, we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16b)
My body may weaken, my knees may ache, but my heart for God
can be stronger today than ever, at any point in my life! That is one
part of my life that age, disease, or difficult times cannot take away.
And thanks be to God for that wonderfully encouraging truth.
So, you may be young, or you may be old. At either stage, set your
focus on being renewed daily by God’s amazing grace. It may not
help your aching knees, but you’ll have a smile in your heart that will
stay to the end.
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.