George Burns once said: ”Tennis is a game for young people. Until age 25, you can play singles. From there until age 35, you should play doubles. I won’t tell you my age, but when I played, there were 28 people on the court — just on my side of the net.” I think about this because my old friend Roland is 90 years old, and these days he’s having trouble with his health. How many people does he need on his side of the net? I know the reality of his days are coming to a close, which is the way it goes for all people; to everything there is a season, a time to be born and a time to die. I will mourn when Roland passes, yet rejoice, because I know this world is not his home, his citizenship is in heaven, and he is bound for the promised land. I have hope for him (and us) in his “golden years” because of Jesus.
I am confident that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise Roland and all believers with Him into His presence. This is because Jesus paid the price for his sins, and we are as sure in Him as He is faithful to us. We all grow old and our bodies fail us; we are like fragile clay pots or grass or flowers. Pots break, grass withers and flowers fall, but believers and followers of Christ do not lose heart. Our outer selves waste away, but our inner selves are renewed each day. We don’t look to the temporary things seen all around us, but eternal things unseen. This is Roland’s hope and glory to come.
Death has no victory over the believer and follower of Jesus. Roland knows this; he will win in the end. He looks forward to the day he won’t suffer from poor health and not knowing the right words to speak. This day may be closer for him than you or I, but no one knows when their end will come. Whenever the Lord calls Roland home, he is ready; he knows Jesus paid the price for his sins, and he will be welcomed home with the open arms of his father in heaven.