“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:24)
The Romans had a grim custom of chaining the body of a murder victim to his murderer. In essence, the body of the person they killed would putrefy next to their body, thus killing them in turn.
A philosopher once said that we are godlike beings walking about in dead bodies. I can tell you I have felt that way more than once. So many times I have the desire and will to do and accomplish things but this “dead body” keeps getting in my way. I have wondered how different it will one day feel to be in heaven, unencumbered by a body subject to death, disease, and decay.
One of our greatest challenges in life is to drag around these “dead bodies” on our way to heaven. The difficulty before us is to not let these bodies encumber us as we go about the daily task of living and working and relating to others and this world around us. To accomplish our goals in life while being hindered by affliction, disease, chronic illnesses, that is no small task, no tiny accomplishment.
So often I get frustrated by small disappointments in life and minor irritations with my afflictions. I would think that by now, after having lived so many years with affliction, the small disappointments and irritations of life would not trip me up so easily, but they often frustrate me more than the bigger challenges I face.
Whether big or small, bodily ailments are a continual challenge for us, and even the continual small challenges can add up to big frustrations.
Our bodies are yet to be redeemed, even though our spirit is reborn in Christ. One day we will have a body that is just as new and wonderful as the new spirit within us. Outwardly we are in decay, but inwardly we are being renewed:
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. . .Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:10,16)
You may be able to relate to the feeling that you are carrying around a dead body. Sometimes your affliction and illnesses may make you feel you are dragging them around like a ball and chain, but don’t be discouraged! There is a new spirit inside of you, and God will give you strength until that day when you receive a new body to match your new spirit.
Prayer: Dear Lord, these bodies weigh us down as we drag them about. Give us strength and a strong spirit to overcome the weight of affliction. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. Though his affliction sometimes feels like a dead weight he carries with him, God gives him the strength to carry on.
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Do you sometimes feel you are dragging your body around? Does affliction continually weigh you down?