self-pity, self-glorification & Grace // lesson #1

Looking beyond the two feet.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a horse with blinders on and a broken neck... all I can see are the two feet in front of me and I have not even the strength or ability to look back. Nevertheless, in my mind, I replay moments of the past over and over again. It hurts to watch, but still, it’s strangely addicting to mull in regret, in the what-ifs and what-could’ve beens. Sometimes I have to tell myself to snap out of it (or someone else does), and lift my eyes beyond, to the hope of a better future, to Jesus. You, who are reading this, may question the divinity of this Jesus man… such doubts I too have had, but let me tell you, my life is a living testament that defeats all objections to its truth.

Most of last semester, I felt like I was drowning in the middle of an ocean with nothing in sight. Unable to swim, I would repeatedly end up submerged underwater, with stormy waves crashing over my head. With what little strength I left in me, I would attempt to push the waters down and lift my chin up for a momentary gasp of air. It wasn’t long before the salt tasted from my tears became indistinguishable from that of the sea. It would’ve been easy for the sea to envelop me entirely, but somehow it was prevented from doing it. It’s nothing short of a miracle the waves didn’t swallow me whole.

Towards the end of the semester though, my eyes lifted and found its way to an island perhaps half a mile away from me…. though it was still a distance away, it gave me hope and something to fight for.

Now, I am no longer submerged in water, wrestling with a force that overpowers, dominating my body and being. But instead, I’m in the midst of a earthquake… all the seemingly formidable skyscrapers tumble before my eyes, but somehow, some way, I have found myself on solid ground, with a warm, bright light shining upon me. So although the world may crash around me, I am safe. I’ve found myself in the eye of a hurricane, the ultimate peace and calm amongst the frenzied fury and roars of the rebellious winds. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite, when I still don’t quite understand what it means to hold onto the truth of the Gospel. I feel so insufficient, small. But in those moments, I am forced to ask God directly for strength to overcome my unbelief and current circumstances. It humbles me further into the forced realization that I am indeed desperately need Him, and it is never by my own doing that I accomplish things. It’s only through Him.

As I write finish writing this, I have less than 2 weeks until the first of my final exams… just a moment before, I felt so weary and all I wanted to do is sleep… because sleep often feels better than reality. But in spite of the cries of my flesh, I had to force myself to ask God for strength when I had none, for faith to overcome my unbelief. So, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider him who endured such opposition…, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Our running in this race is not in vain. It is working for a greater Glory. It is and will be worth it.