Molding or molting?


I’ve gotten old. Funny how it crept up slowly, yet arrived suddenly.

As of this date, I’ve logged 25,212 days since birth, and have tons of experience spinning around our globe. The number of days we live matches the number of earth rotations we’ve made, so it’s no wonder we get dizzy sometimes.

The current average life span of Americans (including both genders, male and female; as well as any nongendered and also all identity-yet-to-be-determined persons; in other words, every American human being, regardless of their gender or lack thereof) is 77.5 years.

This average of 77.5 years equates to 28,287 days, of which I’ve relinquished 25,212. How many more days do I have remaining in my bank account? You do the math, but the averages indicate about 89% of my lifespan has already been spent. Gulp.

As I’ve aged, I’ve experienced a lot of things I once thought only happened to other people, you know, old folks. Knee replacement, cataract surgeries, hearing aid, rotator cuff operation, and a handful of daily meds to ward off issues with sugar, blood pressure, and gout. I take enough scripts ending atin, etine, ormin, and osin, to require a list to track which does what.

My Mom used to say, “aging isn’t for sissy’s.”

Physically, it’s kind of like food getting moldy. Just by looking you can tell it’s aged beyond its shelf life. Similarly, we may feel as youthful as ever on the inside, but the mirror contradicts us as we come face-to-face with ourselves. The Bible says it like this: “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day”, (2 Corinthians 4:16). “Wasting away”? Got it. “Being renewed”? How’s that?

Birds go through a process called molting, where they shed their feathers and get new ones. Feathers are made of the same protein, keratin, as is our hair, and both are renewed similarly. Our hair continually grows out and is trimmed; bird feathers fall out and grow back. This molting in a bird is what’s meant by “being renewed.”

The Bible specifically equates the molting of an eagle, to our renewal process:

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives our sins and heals our diseases, and redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”, (Psalm 103:2-5).

An eagle molts, shedding its feathers annually while getting new ones, enabling it to continue flying with the agility of its youth. There is no physical fountain of youth for we humans, but renewal is possible spiritually, in our inner self. Let me explain.

When we accept God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation, we not only receive a pardon for our wrongdoings, but a fresh start; a complete do-over. If we’re 25,212 days old when Jesus redeems us, our body will remain the same, but our soul starts afresh. Scripture promises this, saying: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”, (2 Corinthians 5:17). Though our outer self may yet be molding, our inner self is molting, as if newly created, restored just like the eagle’s feathers.

How does this happen? It’s by the incomprehensible working of God’s grace, forgiving us entirely for every misbehavior (sin) ever committed. God wipes our slate clean, not only forgiving but forgetting. Seriously. And He doesn’t forget as in heavenly amnesia or Alzheimer’s, but by choosing not to hold our sins against us. That’s the magnitude of the forgiveness Jesus purchased on the cross, and gives freely to those who ask Him for it.

Okay, so I’m old. Perhaps you are too. Or maybe you’re not yet. Regardless, someday your bell will toll, like everybody else’s. None of us are going to get out of here alive, right? Some will pass at a tender age, averaging out the stats with those who live to the proverbial “ripe old.” But whether you are moldy or not, it’s time now to make things right with God.

Give your heart to Jesus. Trust Him with your soul, so your heart will soar and you can “Fly Like an Eagle” (song by the Steve Miller Band, 1976). There, that proves I’m old.

I’ll gladly share more about God’s forgiveness if you email me.

Dave Hinman

Pastor Emeritus

Dove Church Wilmington

[email protected]

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