“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
If anyone was ever close enough to me on a run, they would probably think I’m a crazy person, muttering under my breath “You can do this. You’re amazing.” Absurd? Maybe. But I really can’t help doing it!
For most of my life, I have either felt incredible dislike or ambivalent disappointment towards my body. I can see now that that hatred was unwarranted; I was never that different from the people around me, but some really hurtful comments about my weight as a child seared deep into my heart, and it’s taken me my lifetime to continue to wrestle towards healing.
But as I approached my thirties, I decided I wanted to be a runner. I’ve always wanted to be one, but believed I’d need to start really slow, that I probably couldn’t do it. But one day in March, I challenged myself to run a mile without stopping, and I did it. Since then I’ve been running, adding a little more mileage each week, and it has been one of the most precious ways God is meeting me in this season.
Running has reminded me how much God loves us and created our bodies to do amazing things. Our lungs breathe air, our muscles help us lift things, our bodies can walk and run and laugh and dance. Each one of us is so unique, and we are made in the image of God. Even when our bodies fail us through sickness and disability, we are still here, living, breathing, pushing forward.
I pray that today, no matter what you’ve been thinking and feeling about your body, that God would remind you that you are made in His image, your body is good, and you are capable of amazing things. Maybe you need to lace up your tennis shoes and go out for a jog (or sign up for Stumblers at Camp this summer!). Maybe you need to dance like nobody’s watching to your favorite song. Maybe you need to look yourself in the mirror and smile at the person you see staring back at you, and repeat David’s words in Psalm 139 back to God: “I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well!”
You, my friend, are fearfully and wonderfully made. And believing that truth deep down in our bones changes us forever. Praise be to God!