Greetings, blogophiles! I hope everyone is warm and cozy…or sweaty and working out ;-). I had a fabulous workout this morning with Michael. And by “fabulous,” I mean it’s going to be painful to turn the steering wheel or push open a door tomorrow because my pectorals are going to be recovering from the five sets of ring push-ups that kicked off the session. Gotta love it, though!
I honestly do love the soreness that follows a challenging workout. It means my muscles are growing, that I’m gaining strength. And isn’t that how life is, too? We carry heavy burdens, we undergo severe stress, we feel pain. But when the storm clouds have passed, we’re somehow stronger. It reminds me of a passage in the book of James:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…” – James 1:2-4
The reason joy was nowhere to be found in my trial was due, no doubt, to my absence of faith. Had I relinquished control and surrendered completely to God’s all-sufficient grace and faithfulness, I surely would have felt the inexplicable joy that comes with trusting Him to carry us through the valleys, and guide us across the shadows.
The strange thing is, I still would have considered myself a “dedicated Christian” back then (what does that really mean, anyway?) I prayed morning and night, I went to church, I wasn’t boy-crazy, and heck, I wasn’t even in a sorority. Forget bonnets and buggies and I was virtually Amish. But my prayers were dry and repetitive, as if God needed a daily reminder of just how thankful I was for a roof over my head and how much I loved my family.
I never told Him what was really weighing on me — and that was what I was weighing! Of course He knew it already (Matthew 6:8); that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that I refused, whether consciously or subconsciously, to cast my cares upon Him. Looking back, I think this is in part because I thought an “eating disorder” was too trivial for Almighty God, the God who freed the Hebrews from Pharaoh and parted the Red Sea, who made the Earth stop spinning for a historic battle, who raises dead men to life. How silly this sounds to me now! Surely a God who would and could resurrect His Son with a burst of radiation and subatomic particles moving at the speed of light (or whatever) would cure a teenage American girl of her depression and obsession.
But I never asked. Not until I woke up in the middle of the night feeling as though I was being swallowed up in the tangible darkness of my angst. But more on that night and the subsequent morning later :-). I’ll leave you with a profoundly simple Psalm:
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”-Psalm 55:22