It had been for quite a while. I was losing a lot of hair. When I washed my hair, I could see a big handful on the floor. At my work station in school, I also frequently saw strands of hair on the floor. The situation got worse in the first week of the school holidays. I was very disturbed and concerned. I read up on the subject in a book and on the Internet and did other things I thought might help. Thank God the situation did improve and I learnt a few lessons in the process.

1) “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.” (Proverbs 20:12)

I had never treasured my hair this much all my life. But when I was losing so much of them, I suddenly realized how important they were! So it is with my eye sight, my ability to hear, to speak, to walk, to think, etc. I ought not to be taking them for granted but to thank God for them. Even the ability to eat and enjoy our food and to draw sustenance for life comes from God. “Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19)

2) “but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

My hair loss experience also tells me that even if age has not caught up with me, it is catching up slowly but surely. The physical body can only degenerate and grow old. It is a one-way street. No man can turn back the clock so to speak. In the recent weeks, I had been visiting my ailing uncle in Changi General Hospital. He was admitted due to an infection which later affected his major organs. His heart stopped at one point and had to be resuscitated. He had to be dependent on machines to breathe, to pump in nourishment and to expel toxin from the system. He could not talk due to the respirator stuck into his mouth and could only scribble on a paper when he found enough strength to convey his wishes to his family. Ecclesiastes 12 gives us a picture of old age, when our physical senses and functions are dulled and weakened. It exhorts us to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them”. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Thank God that unlike our outward man, our inward man can have a different path. It need not degenerate! Even as we are growing older, our spiritual life can grow stronger and our faith can increase! Our hopes can also beam brighter, if we hope not in this dying and sin-cursed world but see beyond it with eyes of faith and rest our hope in God. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

3) “And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not:” (Jeremiah 45:5)

The doctor said that my hair loss problem was likely due to stress. That cautioned me against over-exerting myself at work. It is important to work hard but not at the expense of our physical and spiritual life and other important aspects of life. I have a friend who used to work for a multi-national oil company. She gained a lot of exposure with all her jet-setting and earned a lucrative salary. She held what many Singaporean might call a dream job. However, that was not without a price. She was expected to give her heart and soul to her work 24/7. There came eventually a point when her frequent travelling and constant bickering and politics at work finally took a toll on her health. She decided to leave her work. When trying to negotiate for a better package, her boss told her that a company is a company, and that it has no heart! That awakened to the heartlessness of the company to which she had given her heart and soul for a good number of years, and she was glad for the decision she had made to leave! Thank God she was wise to leave her work before her health was totally wrecked.

The Bible tells us, “Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” (Proverbs 23:4) To get rich should not be our motivation at work and in life. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Timothy 6:6-10)

As Christians, we should rest in the comfort that God our loving Heavenly Father knows our every need and will provide for us. “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7) Let us look to God in faith always as we sojourn on this earth. No matter which stage of life we are at now, God is able to take care of us. The Bible says, “For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” (Psalm 48:14)

Deaconess Sock Pheng