I know I’ve only been in college for about four or five months now, but you’d think I’d learn the whole lesson of taking care of my body. Well, apparently I haven’t. I often wonder why humans do that; why do we constantly choose to make the same mistakes over and over again when we’ve already learned the lesson? *sigh* Oh well.
Today was fun, I thought. Most people wouldn’t think it was fun, but I did 🙂 I basically played the role of dorm hermit, got a ton of homework done, took my time with my devotions (learned something new), wrote letters, and watched the movie version of Jane Austen’s Emma. Why? Because I wanted to and because Jane Austen is amazing.
When I opened up my devotions today, it was a passage taken from Psalm 119. Now, whenever I see a passage from this chapter I always cringe, because Psalm 119 is very long. But today, since I had the time, I decided to read it from beginning to end, with commentary. I never realized this Psalm was the Jewish people sort of celebrating God’s gift of the Torah. For the longest time I always pictured the people of the Old Testament being oppressed because they had to fulfill the Law, which was impossible. But here they’re….praising it? Time for a reality check. As I read, something from The Grace of God popped up in my brain: “Contrary to what is sometimes taught, the opposite of grace is not law…God’s law is actually an extension of grace.” I continued reading, and I was reminded that God’s law, while it was impossible to keep, showed the Jews and the Gentiles of both the Old Testament and the New Testament the difference between right and wrong and confirmed the intuitions of the moral law that exists within all of us. I continued to contemplate the law being an extension of grace and I still haven’t reached a conclusion, but I will let you know when I do 🙂
After I’d finished all of my homework (including revisions and line-edits), I went and worked out. Now, I hadn’t really eaten anything all day (I had a Pop-Tart for breakfast and then some granola throughout the day) and I was hungry when I went to work out. These were my thoughts: “Well, I’ll just work out and then I’ll be hungry enough to eat a big dinner! Yeah!”
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.
Anyway, I was working out and what not, and I went to the back of the weight room to do arms. Normally I’m not intimidated by the fact that I’m usually the only girl doing arms amongst a very large group of guys, but for some reason I was today. After having a little mental battle with myself I finally went and just did arms, regardless of the fact that most of the guys were lifting much more weight than I was. As I worked out, I listened to Andy Stanley and his wife as they went through the relationship part of the series Guardrails. Now, I’m obviously not married or in a relationship, but I think that single people should still adopt the mindset of preparing themselves for marriage and for a relationship, regardless of whether they’re getting ready to be married or to start a relationship. It’s kind of like running a race. You stretch and jump up and down and make sure your body is in shape in order to run the race properly and effectively without hurting yourself or other people. You might’ve even read some books on how to prepare, drank some protein shakes, gone to athletic conferences (yes, they have those). This is the same with marriage and relationships.
After I worked out, I felt terrible. In fact, I felt like I was going to faint. As I walked to the Pizza Shop to get food (because I needed real food or it was not going to be good), I scolded myself for being so absolutely ignorant of my own limitations. Thankfully, I made it back to my dorm just fine, ate my food, restored my electrolytes, and felt ten million times better.
I realized today that my relationship with God has a lot of “even though’s,” “despites,” and “regardless of” and all of these word concern things that I’ve done in relation to how God reacts. As I contemplated this I realized that I have been simplifying God in my own mind, which has made it difficult for me to trust Him, to believe in Him, to understand His word. I forgot that God is a mystery; that I don’t know everything about Him. I don’t know what He looks like, only that if I looked at Him I would die. I don’t what He thinks on a daily basis, only that He thinks of me and the sparrows. And then I think about the fact that He thinks of me. There’s this song by Point of Grace called “God Forbid.” The chorus goes:
“God forbid, that I find You so familiar,
That I think of You as less than who You are,
God forbid, that I should speak of You at all,
Without a humble reverence in my heart.”
The crazy thing about all of this is that I feel like, in my own heart, I’ve allowed God to become a watered down figure, just a thing that people patronize me about and say “Oh, that’s good for you,” treating Him like just some part of another religion. But that is not who God is. I’ve forgotten who God is…imagine that. God is the one true God, the only God. He “forgives all of my sins, heals all of my diseases (including emotional ones), redeems my life from the pit, crowns me with steadfast love AND mercy, and satisfies me with good so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” He “is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” Abounding…as in, He has way more than enough of it. He “doesn’t deal with me according to my sins, nor repay me according to my iniquities….He knows my frame and remembers that I am dust…”
That I am dust.
How do I so easily forget who God is? I talk to Him often and study His word…but I seem to have forgotten and moved away from who I was talking to. While God is my best friend, I can’t forget that He is my God, my Savior, my Lord….He is not just like anyone else. He is unique and can’t be compared to other people. I can’t hide behind anything when I’m talking to Him, because He already knows all of it. I am completely vulnerable before Him. His love is so much larger and greater and sacrificial and pure than anyone who’s ever loved me. He deserves more than me, and far more than the human race…He created them, after all…He created me. Even though I am dust…I am dust…God. Loves. Me. Oh how could I forget that?