All That is Within Me?

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“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!”  Psalm 103:1 (ESV)

Sure, I bless the Lord with my lips and, as much as I can, with my heart. But with all that is in me? Can I really bless Him when my lower back is kinked or my sinuses are blocked and filled with pain? Can I bless him for my middle-aged tummy bulge or those widening hips? What about my second chin that is beginning to appear, or my hair, which has a mind of its own and pays more attention to the humidity than to any futile attempts to style it?

When we look at our flaws, imperfections, and body aches, it is hard to be positive, isn’t it? Other people may see our good points, but we magnify those things we hate about ourselves: our too-straight or too-curly hair; our big or pointy or hooked noses; our short legs; or, our over-sized bottoms. Some of us despise the fact that we are scrawny and tall and can’t seem to gain weight.

Then there is the inside stuff: Our anger; our pride, which rears up when confronted; our stubbornness; and, our bad habits. Do people judge us more harshly than we judge ourselves? Does the way we act affect our appearance, or vice versa? What does that say about us as disciples of Christ? Where is our attitude of gratitude?

When will we realize that we are wonderfully and fearfully made by our Creator who desires relationship with us so much He even went to the cross so He could be with us. God sees us not as we are, but through the eyes of a loving parent. He sees the potential of who we can be when we use all the talents He has given us and when we choose to follow His ways. As the children’s song says, we are precious in His sight—no matter our race, our body shape, or our background.

It is true that some of our flaws are the result of our own life-choices. Through prayer and study of the Scriptures, we can change how we react to stress and to life in general. We can start turning to God for comfort and satisfaction, rather than to food or other worldly pleasures. We can spend less time at computers or on the couch in front of a television screen and, instead, get out to enjoy the beauty of our world. At the same time, we can help others in need.

Let’s read what Psalm 103: 2-5 (ESV) goes on to say:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”

The key is in the second verse when we forget not all His benefits; that is the attitude-changer. Once we claim Jesus as Lord, we receive eternal life and will one day have spiritual bodies free of disease and all imperfections. Since we have confessed Christ as Lord, we also get the crown. He forgives us, loves us, and shows us mercy. We can be more-than-satisfied with what is good, both in our bodies and in our lives. We can also seek God’s help to begin to see ourselves as He see us.

Reflection:
When you look in the mirror, do you see yourself for your faults or for your blessings?
How do you believe the Lord sees you?

Prayer: Dear God, the next time I feel down on myself, help me to remember who I am to You. Heal my attitudes and my body. Give me Your strength so I can renew every aspect of myself: my heart, mind, will, and body. May I  rejoice in what I have been given, rather than complaining, knowing that so many have so little. Most of all, may I bless You with all that is in me for redeeming me from death and granting me eternal life and the forgiveness I could never hope to earn. I ask these things in Your holy and mighty name, Lord Jesus, Amen

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