Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 144:1-3:
“Blessed be the LORD my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues all the people under me.
LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?”
I’ll be honest. I hate working out. Running—ya, I can do that and even enjoy it at times. Push-ups? Sit-ups? Bench-press? Every other strangely-named exercise (See: Downward Dog and Dead Lips)? Nope. I hate ‘em. They’re just too hard.
Enter my sister—a Health, Fitness, Recreation major. She’s constantly giving me new exercises to try. Most of the time I’m either laughing at the funny clothes the exercise trainer is wearing (How did I ever survive the ‘90s?) or finding some other convenient thing to do (I’ve gotta…you know, brush my llama). But unless I buckle down and do the exercises, I’ll never get stronger. Picture those weight-loss TV shows my sister loves. Those portly people are stubborn at first, but the trainer yells and encourages them (with made-for-TV drama) until they’re the “smallest winner.” But it takes a massive amount of hard work—much like every other skill in life. What are you good at? Shooting hoops, acting, singing, filming, eating, sleeping, shopping, llama-raising—whatever it is, how did you get good at it? It’s the same: hard work and training.
In Psalm 144, we find the world’s best Personal Trainer: God Himself. In verse one, David acknowledges that God was the One Who trained him for battle. David was a great warrior, killing giants, conquering cities, and subduing nations. But who trained him? Yoda? Ra’s al Ghul? Mr. Miyagi? No, the Ultimate Trainer—the Warrior Who’s conquered roaring oceans, towering walls, raging rivers, and death itself: the LORD Almighty.
As if that’s not enough, David goes on to recount all the other things God is to him in verse 2. Find a trait that means a lot to you and stop right now to praise God for it.
Look now to verse three. In response to His amazing Personal Trainer Who’s done so much for him, David says, “What is man?” What are we? Why would God stoop to help us? We’re just dust—worthless, self-absorbed sinners! Yet God “takes knowledge” of us. He’s interested in our lives. Maybe you need to reflect on all God’s been doing for you—all the training experiences He’s given you. And at the end, cry out, “Who am I to deserve such grace?”
-Matthew W., SC