With Hollywood’s penchant to make sequels of popular movies or television series, it is common to reintroduce the original actors to a new generation. The original Karate Kid movies from the 1980’s is now the popular series, Cobra Kai. Nearly all of the original actors are present in the new series, to the delight of viewers, like myself, who watched the original movies. While there is always an effort to have the original actors, some may have passed away whereas others choose not to participate in the sequel. Depending upon the producers and writers, another actor may be chosen to portray that person. There is always an effort to match the physical likeness of the new actor to the original and many times the resemblance is remarkable. Aware of this fact, sometimes, I am still fooled when I see the original actor, now much older, and do a double take and exclaim, “That’s not the same person!”
The Bible gives a sobering example of a great saint who was barely recognized by his own friends after a very trying ordeal.
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him. When they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky. Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
Job 2:11-13 (NASB)
Job was one of the wealthiest and most prosperous men of the ancient world. In a sudden turn of events, he lost all of his children, his wealth, and his health. When his three friends came to comfort him, they barely recognized him. Many of us have met others who have been through challenges in life. Divorce, illness, financial problems-all of these may lead to a dramatic change in the appearance of someone whom we previously knew. We feel their pain as we witness the physical changes. We may even wonder if they are the same person. Perhaps we may wonder the same thing about ourselves when we encounter similar trials? What reassurance can we have?
If we have confessed and repented of our sins and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our salvation is assured and eternal. What a comfort to know that God is unchanging and He is the same eternal Creator. While we may not be able to reverse the physical changes that age and stress bring upon ourselves, we can cling to the promise that God will care for us and bear our burdens until we pass from this life and stand in His glorious presence.
Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4 (NASB)
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.