Infirmities

“… The best thing we can say of this house of earth is, That it is a ruinous building, and will not be long before it tumbles into dust ; that it is not our home (we look for another house eternal in the heavens) ; that we shall not always be confined here, but that in a little time we shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, from this burden of flesh, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. What frail things these bodies of ours are! How soon are they disordered! To what a troop of diseases, pains, and other infirmities are they constantly subject! And how does the least distemper disturb our minds and make life itself a burden ! Of how many parts do our bodies consist! And if one of these be disordered, the whole man suffers. If but one of these slender threads whereof our flesh is made up be stretched beyond its due proportion, or fretted by any sharp humor, or broken, what torment does it create ! Nay, when our bodies are at the best, what pains do we take to answer their necessities, to provide for their sustenance, to preserve them in health, and to keep them tenantable, in some tolerable fitness for our soul’s use. And what time we can spare from our labor is taken up in rest and refreshing our jaded bodies and fitting them for work again. How are we forced, even naturally, into the confines of death; even to cease to be; at least to pass so many hours without any useful or reasonable thoughts, merely to keep them in repair! But our hope and comfort are that we shall shortly be delivered from this burden of flesh, when “God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” O when shall we arrive at that happy land where no complaints were ever heard, where we shall all enjoy uninterrupted health both of body and mind, and nevermore be exposed to any of those inconveniences that disturb our present pilgrimage? When we shall have once passed from death unto life, we shall be eased of all the troublesome care of our bodies, which now takes up so much of our time and thoughts. We shall be set free from all those mean and tiresome labors which we must now undergo to support our lives. Yon robes of light, with which we shall be clothed at the resurrection of the just, will not stand in need of those careful provisions which it is so troublesome to us here either to procure or to be without. But then, as our Lord tells us, those who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world neither marry nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more, but they are equal to the angels. Their bodies are neither subject to disease, nor want that daily sustenance which these mortal bodies cannot be without. “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God will destroy both it and them.” This is that perfect happiness which all good men shall enjoy in the other world: a mind free from all trouble and guilt in a body free from all pains and diseases. Thus our mortal bodies shall be raised immortal. They shall not only be always preserved from death (for so these might be, if God pleased), but the nature of them shall be wholly changed so that they shall not retain the same seeds of mortality: they cannot die any more.”

EM Bounds, “CHAPTER XIV: RESURRECTION OF THE BODY COMPLETE”,  The ineffable glory; thoughts on the resurrection

Edward McKendree Bounds lived from 1835-1913 and is famous for some books on prayer. This is an excerpt from a chapter with an extended discourse on the resurrection.

There are almost 3000 hits for “infirmities” in this database I’ve collected, and it’s some of the best Christian writing around.  Many were talking of our own moral failings, some were talking about the character flaws of the annoying people we are blessed to live with. The “infirmities” here are the aches and pains of these frames we carry around. Perhaps those who notice themselves growing old will be able to find a special resonance with this topic. Bounds cites many Scriptural evidences that this too shall pass and we may look forward to new bodies, free from tears.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, give us bodies free of all pains and diseases and minds free from all trouble and guilt. Let us look forward to that day when you will wipe away every tear. Give us eyes to see those around us in special need of the wiping of tears, the easing of guilt, or the lessening of pains. Give us all hope in the resurrection and the joys of the life to come. AMEN. 

 

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