“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charlie Chaplain
Oh, the unique challenges awaiting the woman approaching middle age and beyond. After my husband recently exchanged our interior lighting with LED lights, something significantly went wrong. The truth was right there in front of me. I could see clearly now that things would never be the same again. The “hide-n-seek” game was over. It found me… welcome to middle age and beyond! I was made in God’s image. Genesis 1:27
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Your once tight abs have been replaced with something rather squishy that must be gathered up (starting somewhere around the knees) and tucked into industrial-strength, control-top pantyhose. Imagine suddenly realizing that your thighs almost create sparks when you walk. Your biceps are so deflated that in a strong breeze you worry that they might make a flapping sound. Do you convince yourself it feels as though you just climbed Mt. Everest after only one flight of steps? Maybe you don’t have to imagine it. Maybe you are living it like myself.
If I were given even a small amount of money each time someone told me what they didn’t like about themselves, I would be a wealthy woman. When approaching middle age and beyond, there were many times I felt inadequate when comparing myself to others. Why? Defined aesthetics are on the rise and too much pressure to look perfect. God might have knit these bodies together out of a more “permanent press” kind of fabric. He could have built in a kind of stretch that wouldn’t lose its elasticity around middle age. But He didn’t. And through our aging bodies, gained wisdom and all the challenges we live through, He teaches us what really matters… humble service in the Body of Christ.
No amount of make-up, facial products, and thigh masters can remove the wisdom a woman has learned over time. They can’t replace the joy of serving others. What about how many different types of people did her daily life and ministry touch? What about the strength she has gained from enduring hardships? How might you underestimate the many lives you touch each day?
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come… charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:25,30
This passage describes a woman who seems just about perfect. The Proverbs 31 “virtuous woman” got it on that teaching. She could “laugh at the days to come.” Her future held flabby abs and combustible thighs too. But she could laugh. Why? Laughing is a unique gift from God so why not accept it? Accept being mature. Share your words of wisdom to another generation… maybe that is why I absolutely love serving in student ministry.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but with a heartache comes depression. Proverbs 15:13
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15
But look deep beyond the outward layer. You’ll see a woman of wisdom who fully understood what was really important. She understood what it meant to work hard and serve God with her whole heart. Serving others came as a natural extension of serving Him. There’s only one metamorphosis – and it will keep every woman eternally beautiful. The metamorphosis of the heart.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Having a heart of unselfish service that has been transformed by Christ – that’s what matters. And that is what gives us the ability to laugh at the future… even if it involves flabby thighs.
Let the laughter begin,