A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop
(J. R. Miller, "The Wider Life" 1908)
"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
"For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die!" 1 Corinthians 15:53
The lesson of the imperishable life, has a special application to those who suffer from sickness or from any bodily affliction. It will help us to endure physical sufferings quietly and unmurmuringly, if we will remember that it is only the outward man that can be touched and affected by these experiences, and that the inward man may not only be kept unharmed, but may be growing all the while in beauty and strength, being spiritually renewed through pain and suffering.
A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop in a great city, one day noticed that there was one little place in his dark room, from which he could get a view of green fields, blue skies and faraway hills. He wisely set up his bench at that point, so that at any moment he could lift his eyes from his dull workóand have a glimpse of the great, beautiful world outside.
Just so, from the darkest sick-room, and from the midst of the keenest sufferings, there is always a point from which we can see the face of Christ and have a glimpse of the glory of heaven. If only we will find this place and get this visionóit will make it easy to endure even the greatest suffering.
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken downówhen we die and leave these bodiesówe will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing." 2 Corinthians 5:1-2
Sickness is discouraging and is hard to bear. But we should remember that the doing of the will of God is always the noblest, holiest thing we can do any houróhowever hard it may be for us. If we are called to sufferólet us suffer patiently and sweetly. Under all our sharp trialsólet us keep the peace of God in our hearts. The outward man may indeed decayóbut the inward man will be renewed day by day.