J. Robertson McQuilken gave a touching message about love and commitment when he resigned as president of Columbia International University to care for his wife who had Alzheimer’s. The message is available on YouTube if you care to hear it. I recently read a quote by Dr. McQuilken which expresses so well what happens to most of us in our latter years.
“I think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of old age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty that is forever. And so we’ll be eager to leave the temporary, deteriorating part of us and be truly homesick for our eternal home. If we stayed young and strong and beautiful, we might never want to leave.”
Some call it mellowing. I think the truth is that we begin to see more clearly. We see the world as it really is: a place God never intended for us to stay. He created us as timeless, eternal beings, and yet we live in a world that is marked and controlled by time.
As we age, we realize our time here is short. We want to right all wrongs, cut away the fluff and pretense of everything, and get down to what really matters. And what matters is the eternal – our spiritual life.
A hymn I’ve always loved is Beulah Land. The term Beulah literally means married. It refers to Christ and his bride the Church, and refers to the place where we will live eternally with Him. The lyrics reiterate what McQuilken was saying: As the world deteriorates around us, we are ever more homesick for that time and place:
I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.
I’m looking now across the river
Where my faith will end in sight.
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Beulah Land, I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand.
There my home shall be eternal.
Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land.
When this will happen is unknown. We just have to be ready to go in the twinkling of an eye. We may lose our strength and beauty here, but we will bask in His power and beauty forever. Are you ready to meet Him? It could be today!