There are moments in my life when I realize just how young I am, and I learn the importance of weighing things against the test of time. This moment in my life is one of them.
I could list many things that I have held onto as definite, that turned out to be not so defined or long-lasting. Just to name a few, early high school I thought I was going to be a film score composer, freshman year of college I thought I’d for sure teach English in Japan, this time last year I thought I would be with my (now ex) boyfriend forever, and this past May I thought I would be following the Paleo diet for the rest of my life. Each time I make these resolutions, I mock my previous self as knowing nothing, and that I know so much better now.
But look at me now: I’m not in music school, teaching English in Japan is not on the top of my list, I am definitely not dating that boy ever again, and I’ve figured out that “paleo” isn’t really the healthiest lifestyle for me. This last revelation is the most pertinent at the moment. For months I have been preaching of the benefits of paleo, and the evils of grain. However, for the past month my hair has been falling out, and I’ve had insomnia. Both are symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Where is magnesium found? In whole grains. A few months ago I had realized I wasn’t eating enough carbs, but I guess I hadn’t upped my carbs enough.
What does this all have to do with anything? It goes back to my favorite quote, “If you think you understand an aspect of God, you’ve probably got it wrong.” (Tom Bradford, TorahClass.com) That quote has really stuck with me, and I repeat it to myself often. I remind myself that if I don’t even fully understand what food is good or bad for you, or what I want for myself, then who am I to say with certainty what God does or does not want for me? Or who He is?
Yes, there are things we can be certain of: He loves us, He cares for us, He redeems us. But those are general enough that as long as you don’t get too specific as to how those aspects of His character operate, we should be fine. But once we get into the territory of laying down limits, guidelines, outlines, grids, and easy to understand explanations of His many aspects, we’re in trouble. Then we start idolizing God, forming Him in our image, what we want Him to be, who we think He is, and not who He says He is.
Knowing God, and trusting Him through the changes, my own changes, is developed not in a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. I can’t even say for sure how long I’ve had a personal relationship with God. It took me a year to figure out I didn’t want to be with my boyfriend for the rest of my life, and some people it takes longer. Getting to know a person, let alone the Almighty Sovereign of everything including and beyond the universe, takes a long time. I need to trust Him, to know that He is there. I need to stop pressuring myself to have all the answers, because He sure isn’t expecting me to be perfect. After all, He said,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding