“We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first Bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better … stronger … faster.” Do you remember the lines?1 Lee Majors starred as Col. Steve Austin from 1974-1978. He was the Air Force test pilot who was transformed into a bionic superhuman after the crash of his NASA experimental aircraft left him all but dead.
“Better … stronger … faster.” Sounds like the stuff of dreams. For that matter, at six million dollars, it sounds like a bargain today!
The Six Million Dollar Man became a huge success. And why not? Just imagine what it would be like to have legs that can run faster than sixty miles an hour, or to have an arm with the strength of a bulldozer, or to have eyes that can see for miles. Perhaps dreaming about what could be had a way of making the limitations of reality a little easier to bear. It helped Paul. The first-century apostle didn’t understand bionics, but he didn’t need to. He had something better in mind—a resurrected body.
For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust In but don’t yet see that keeps us going. (2 Corinthians 5 The Message)
Paul's second letter to the Corinthians chronicles his hardships more than any other New Testament letter. For Paul, life was hard. Serving God was often very difficult. So when trials burdened him, Paul took hope in what was to come: a new body and a new home. That certainty gave him joy in his heart, a skip in his step, and a smile on his face. Sure, times were tough, but one day he would be better … stronger … faster!
Is life frustrating? The Scriptures don't advocate escapism, but they do offer us a promise of a coming day when you will be better, stronger, faster. That's no daydream. It is the reality that God uses to fuel our hope. And on that day, the bionic man will look like a cave man!
1 My apologies to the readers whose birthdays precluded the possibility of enjoying The Six Million Dollar Man. I know, I've dated myself . . . but hey, I loved growing up in the 60's and 70's.