What a bizarre premise to this 1890 fictional work of Oscar Wilde! The Picture of Dorian Gray relates the story of Dorian who wishes that his painted image would age instead of himself. That way he could follow his hedonistic world view and spend his life chasing pleasure. With every selfish act his image got older and uglier but he himself remained ageless! And as you can imagine, the story does not end well!
This story reminded me of today’s verse. Outwardly and with enough time, we are all wasting away. We do what we can to minimize the effects of age, but eventually we look more and more beat up! Our bodies break down but that does not have to be true for the inside. What is seen in the mirror is only temporary but the renewal that is taking place on the inside is eternal. (verse 18)
Life is so often filled with hardship and struggle. Like Paul I may feel that I am “hard pressed on every side” (verse 8) but that does not mean I give in to despair. I may feel crushed by the weight of my trials but I have hope. I do not want to lose heart because God is using every negative in my life to create a lasting and eternal beauty on the inside. Within I am becoming more mature as I respond to the Lord in faith and perseverance. I can be confident that God is using it all to make me more like His Son.
Thank you Lord for this hope! Keep me focused on what You are accomplishing on the inside.