Recently my husband went to visit a couple from our church. They are two of our seniors who have had health issues and have missed many services because of their illnesses. The wife was excited to show my husband a passage of Scripture that she had read in her Bible that morning. “It seemed like this was describing us,” she said, referring to herself and her husband. Here is the passage, first in King James Version, then paraphrased for clearer understanding…
2While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
8Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,
Before your vision dims and the world blurs
And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
3-5 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.
Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.
The shades are pulled down on the world.
You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt.
The hum of the household fades away.
You are wakened now by bird-song.
Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past.
Even a stroll down the road has its terrors.
Your hair turns apple-blossom white,
Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body.
Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest,
While your friends make plans for your funeral.
6-7 Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
8 It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke.
The Quester says that everything’s smoke.
13 The last and final word is this:
Do what he tells you.
14 And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.
The aging couple told my husband that their failing bodies remind them that heaven is just beyond and that they are ready to go – either by death or by the Rapture when Christ comes for His children.