Death Has No Victory

O Death where is your victory? O Death where is your sting? I Corinthians 15:55 NASB

I still see the man who raised me when I look in my father’s eyes. At 86 years young, you can see in his face how much time has passed and how much life he has lived. Yet along with the years, Parkinson’s disease has slowly, but steadily, stolen even more strength from my father’s body. He walks with a symptomatic shuffle. His words are few and he is slow to express his thoughts. My father battles every day to accomplish the daily activities of life, yet when I look in his eyes, I still see the dad of my childhood. I still see the same eyes of love and welcome.

Lately, in my own life, I also see that time has passed. All I have to do is look deeply in the mirror and the smooth complexion I once knew has changed into 50-year-old skin. My visits to the hair salon are more frequent as I again cover the gray roots, reminding me that I am growing older too.

This transition into second-half years could be very discouraging if I place my hope solely in this temporal life.  If I believed that this earthly existence was all there is, then it would be normal for this season of life to feel melancholy. If I thought that all of life is wrapped up in a short 80 years (if we are lucky), it would be easy to let those thoughts weigh our joy down.

Yet all I need to do is look in the eyes of my father and realize that even as our bodies age, we are all created with a spirit that defies time and reflects the eternalness of our souls.

The hope of Easter rests in the Risen Savior. Death was defeated as that stone was rolled away. Because Jesus lives, we share in that resurrection. Yes, the outward body undoubtedly is aging and will die. But the soul will live on forever in the presence and power of Christ. So, when Christ promises that He is WITH us and IN us, He is calling us not to focus our energies only our physical bodies, but on our eternal souls that no one can defeat or kill. Our physical bodies are the vessel we are given to fulfill His work in and through us in this life. But the work in our souls will last forever.

Paul tells us in Romans 8:11 that “His Spirit dwells in us.” (NASB). Did you catch that? Stop and reread that short phrase. So often we gloss over that incredible truth. The Spirit of the Living God dwells in us! His eternal, unchangeable, immortal, holy, powerful, loving Spirit lives within us if we trust in Him by faith. We needn’t fear getting older in our earthly bodies because even if we grow physically weaker, His Spirit is growing stronger within us if we submit to His work in us.

I once heard a speaker say he no longer is bothered by another birthday because it means he is another year better than he was last birthday. As he allowed the work of God inside his heart, he was another year closer and better than he was the previous year. He had another year of knowing the faithfulness of God in his life. He knew and experienced the love of God deeper than before. He was another year more like Jesus.

I want to live like that. I want to no longer worry about the number of candles on the cake and instead let the Spirit of Jesus take my spirit further and deeper into His likeness. I want to defy the pressure of this world to try and stay young looking as long as possible and instead live gratefully that I am another year deeper in the knowledge of His love and grace.

When people look in my ever-aging eyes, I want them to not see the wrinkles but instead see Jesus in them.

O Death where is your victory? O Death where is your sting? I Corinthians 15:55 NASB

Mary Quillin is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She is a city-girl-turned-country-girl in her new life in North Dakota. Mary has been married to her hubby for 16 years and has 3 wonderfully, different kids who have begun their teen years (and she would appreciate all the prayers as possible on that note). After many years in full-time ministry, Mary is learning how to show up and daily discover the journey of being available for whatever Jesus leads her to. She spends her days trying to build a welcoming shabby chic home in the heartland of North Dakota while learning to write and run.