Yesterday, a friend posted a fun quote on facebook: "We have enough youth; how about a Fountain of Smart." One friend responded "Or a fountain of thin." Sigh. If we can't have youth, then we at least want to look young, don't we?
I think if you polled Americans, you'd find that we dread death most, or at least the process of aging. We really, truly, long to be young forever. We'd love to have bodily youth, but with the wisdom of age, wouldn't we?
As a matter of fact, if you offered the average America a magic pill that would make him live forever, on this earth, in good health, never dying, he's take it in a second. Everybody wants to live forever, right?
The infamous Fountain of Youth.
But God has something to say about that.
This earth is fallen, riddled with evil and sin. We should not desire it. The unsaved man desires it. But the Christian should have a fundamental re-wiring of his inner desires; he should desire heaven.
Have you read closely in Genesis 3 about why God threw man and woman out of Eden? Because they were naughty? Because He was angry? Because they didn't deserve it anymore?
No, He did it to protect them. He had to make sure -- make absolutely sure -- than they would not live forever in this horrible, sinful state. He had to insure their deaths.
"Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever --' therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden ...."
Get this: if Adam had eaten of that other tree, the tree of life, he would have been fixed eternally in his sinful state, unredeemable. God couldn't allow this. He denied us eternal youth on this evil planet -- it would be the worst fate of all! Death is, in this context, a great gift. It is a way to escape a fallen world, and (if you're saved by Jesus's love on the cross), have your eternal youth in a much, much better place.
Don't give me eternal youth in this place. I don't want to stay here and watch war after war, and murder after murder, kidnappings and abuse, corruption and deceit. Give me my eternal youth in a different place. I'll eat of that tree of life in God's new earth.
Don't long for youth here. Don't color your hair, yearn for 20-year old hips, moan at your wrinkles or live vicariously through your children. You're gonna die. And it's a great alternative to staying here for eternity.