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As Time Goes By

    As for man, his days are like grass;
        he flourishes like a flower of the field;
    for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
        and its place knows it no more.
(Psalm 103:15-16 ESV)

Recently Baby L had the opportunity to meet her paternal great-grandparents, and will be meeting her other set of maternal "greats" in the very near future.  In my mind, it was a bittersweet experience - the coming together of those in the very late sunset of their lives and one whose days have just begun.  It was also bittersweet because, on the day that I went into labour, our Grampa suffered a stroke that was then followed by a succession of mini-strokes.  We weren't even sure Baby L would have the chance to meet him, so watching her in his arms was an answered prayer.  
Coupled with his fading memory, we weren't hopeful that he would know who we were, but he did.  In fact, he could still remember us (and spoke excitedly about us) the next day when he was asked about his visitors.  I was so touched by this because I know how much he means to Hubbs, who spent a lot of time with him growing up.  I'm glad to see that Hubbs also made an impact on Grampa the way that Gramps made a difference in him, enough to help him to remember through the fog.

But the whole experience brings to the fore the reality of aging, and of life itself.  Our days are so fleeting; one moment we are still finding comfort in our mother's arms and the next, we are the ones doing the comforting.  We blink and our childhood, which doesn't seem like so long ago, is suddenly decades in the past.  Our first heroes, our invincible mommies and daddies who can fix anything for us in a pinch, are now suddenly showing the vulnerabilities of aging and seem somehow more frail and tired than we've ever remembered them to be.  And confronting us is our own mortality - the growing awareness that we, too, are not that far from our golden years, and those who are now aging around us once walked through this life in similar shoes as ours, too.

This is why I am so glad for the hope that I have in Christ, which takes the fear and uncertainty out of the equation of time passing by.  The earthly life may be temporary, but there is another life that is eternal, and I know where I am going when I leave this mortal plain.  What comfort it is to rest in the assurance that every day and week and year brings me closer to the richness of a life spent with Jesus, in the presence of His glory.  And this gives me great hope, particularly as I look at my little girl's face and wonder what life will be like for her and for us in 35 years.   





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