For many, the greatest trial of life comes in the form of broken bodies, the aging process, and disabilities. Sometimes a tragic event or disease can drastically change somebody's quality of life. Through the ages, many saints have used their suffering to bring glory to God and call attention to the value of life. But many others have suffered in silence and been overtaken by despair and loneliness because of their affliction. It is why the old adage "health is more important than wealth" survives. It will not always be like that though.
Thomas Aquinas called the Transfiguration "the greatest miracle" because it showed the perfection of life in heaven. It also gives us insight into the kind of body we will have after our resurrection. During the Transfiguration, the body of Christ was radiant and he was adorned with clothes of gleaming white. The 18th century Reformed theologian John Gill noted that our bodies will be even greater than the body of the uncorrupted Adam. Gill stated, "It will be like the glory of the second Adam, which is the Lord Jesus Christ himself."
It is often hard for many to prepare themselves for death, but death is all around us. People want complete control over their lives, but the aging process, health, and death are ultimately out of our control. The breakdown of our bodies is a reminder that life on earth is fleeting.
Every time we go to sleep and wake up again, it is a rehearsal for the day we will ultimately awake to sleep no more. Everything is under the control of the Lord. It is often a hard truth to grasp in our modern context. However, the reality of our frailty and death is a reminder of that truth daily. We all want to live forever. The Lord has put into our hearts the desire of eternity. John Paul II said it well: "The goal and target of our life is He, the Christ who awaits us -- each one singly and altogether -- to lead us across the boundaries of time to the eternal embrace of the God who loves us."
Our fleeting life and the breakdown of our bodies is most importantly a reminder of our need for redemption. It is the physical evidence of our decay and mortality. God loves us so much he created us for relationship and with a desire to be with Him. On that day we wake to sleep no more, it will be glorious indeed.
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