Have you ever felt like your own body had it in for you?
I am not going to turn this into a whine about my list of afflictions, but let’s just say that my latest issue is just about to eat my mental, emotional and spiritual lunch. And I’ve just about had it with my body’s betrayal.
My mind is vibrant and young, and I’m really starting to find my groove, spiritually speaking. Most days, I know who I am in Christ, and am humbly excited about living this abundant life He gave His life to provide for me.
But my physical body has issues that keep popping up like a Whack-A-Mole game, and I’m just about sick of it. I’m sick of it robbing my joy. I’ve had enough. More than enough.
Can anybody else relate to this? Can anybody say, “Amen”?
(By the way, I know that some of my problems don’t even compare to some of YOUR problems. Some of you are battling cancer and heart disease and chronic debilitating pain and even terminal illness right now. And my struggles don’t EVEN BEGIN TO COMPARE to your struggles. But patiently bear with me, because even though I’m being a bit of a whiner right now, maybe you can relate at least on some level to the emotions I’m expressing.)
After reading the last two chapters of Beth Moore’s “Stepping Up” (these two focused on Psalm 123), I was having a bit of a difficult time relating to where she seemed to want us to go. The psalmist talks about “contempt” and beseeches God to show favor to him, even though he has suffered at the hands of someone who is showing him contempt.
Here’s the text:
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you whose throne is in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress
so our eyes look to the Lord our God.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
for we have endured much contempt.
We have endured much ridicule from the proud,
much contempt from the arrogant.
I could completely relate to the psalmist in the first half of the psalm. As a Christian, I know that after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, I know that His position is that He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. That’s what Hebrews 1:3 tells me. I know that one of the things He is doing there right now is interceding for me (and for you) – that’s in Hebrews 7:25. So it’s not a stretch at all for me to remind myself that in the midst of whatever fiery or tumultuous circumstances I find myself, that all I have to do is lift my eyes to the One who is seated, enthroned, in heaven. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him, all things were created…all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. And that’s from the first chapter of Colossians. Remembering that in the midst of the whirlwind helps me calm down. Raising my eyes to that throne and absolutely fixing my entire mind, the eyes of my heart, on Him: when I do that, I feel the love that radiates from His eyes, and His peace comes over my heart. Because He really does have all my spinning plates under His control. In Him, all things hold together.
It was the second part of the psalm where I wasn’t relating so much. With the exception of a loving adolescent with whom I live and with whom I occasionally engage in a skirmish or two, contempt is not high on my list of laments.
But as I mulled it over a little more, I thought, “You know, my body is just SO not cooperating with my endeavors toward living the abundant life. In fact, it is thumbing its proverbial nose at me. Snickering up its sleeve at me. Downright plaguing me at times. Yeah, OK, my body is showing my mind some contempt.”
Have you ever felt that way? Betrayed by your own body?
So today, as I crank out yet another inferior version of one of God’s Divine psalms from the Book of Psalms, I hope you will forgive (or perhaps even relate to) the poetic license I have taken with turning the ones who show contempt into the betrayal of my body not getting with the program and behaving in the way I wish it would.
My Psalm 123
I lift my eyes to You, to my King
seated on the throne of heaven.
I fix my eyes on the One
who commands my destiny.
I fasten my gaze on the One
who holds all things together,
So my eyes are on the Lord my God
until He shows me favor.
Show me grace, Lord,
Show me mercy and loving kindness
for I’ve had more than enough hard knocks.
I’ve had more than enough of a lack of cooperation
and betrayal from my body.