A few years ago, Corina and I paid our respects to a dear Christian missionary who had recently departed this life. At the visitation, we met with the man’s family. His legacy of faith spanned four generations—with children and grandchildren serving the Lord and seeking to live faithfully for King Jesus. The event provided an opportunity to reflect on this man’s ministry and his love for the Lord.
On the way home, Corina and I talked about what a man of God he was. We talked about his pleasant spirit, the joyfulness in his smile, and the spiritual depth that imbued every conversation we had with him. He had been an approachable old man. Every conversation demonstrated how deep his gospel roots ran. The twinkle in his eye was a flash of eternal hope, even as he struggled against the illness that would eventually claim his last breath.
On our way back, we shed a few tears, not because we would miss him (we were never that close), but because we were challenged by how much he resembled his Savior. And we both sensed how far we have to go in looking like the Jesus we love. At one point, I squeezed Corina’s hand and said, “One of the main reasons I don’t want to die yet is because I don’t look enough like Jesus.”
On Saturday, I turn 36. Another birthday. Another landmark.
Someone recently showed me the FaceApp that can make you appear “old” in whatever picture you upload. It’s a lighthearted exercise designed to give you a few laughs. (You can see what the “old Trevin Wax” looks like in the picture to the right!)
Truth is, I didn’t laugh. Leave it to a funny app to set me pondering the future! I’m used to looking at old photos that show me younger, but not a new photo showing what I might look like four decades from now.
What the FaceApp photo can’t show me, however, is how much closer my heart will be to Christ. And the older I get, the longer I want to live—not simply because I love my family and love my life, but because I want more time for my “inner person” to be “renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). The more I grow, the more I see how small I am.
I don’t want to die until the work of God in sanctifying me and making me whole is closer to its final perfection. I want more years on earth to be transformed into his likeness.
Preparing for the Wedding
Just like the facial characteristics of a loving husband and wife begin to resemble each other after many years of companionship, I want these years of walking with Jesus to change me until my attitudes and actions more closely resemble his. I’m part of Christ’s bride, and I can’t wait until the wedding where we see the Groom we’re being prepared for. But as much as I long for the day when I see Jesus, I also long for increased holiness, so that I will look all the more pleasing to him, through the Spirit’s work in me.
So, as I come up on another birthday, that’s my prayer. Lord, don’t let me go through even one day without me being in some small measure conformed to the image of Your Son. Finish the work you’ve started.