Hook Em Horns! I graduated from The University of Texas in 2001. Back in the days when Riverside was still considered the “ghetto”(where I lived happily for 3 years), when Taco Bell and Wendys were the only good things in the Student Union, when Speedway Avenue was actually a throughway on campus, and when setting your alarm in the UGL (Undergraduate Library) or “Pickle” meant writing a sign on your back saying “Please wake me up by…”. It’s been a while.
You are in a season like no other. The paradox of the joy of learning and the exhaustion that it brings is a constant. I am one of those who had to study diligently. If I could eat, sleep, and breathe my studies then I would do well. I went on from UT to get my masters in Physical Therapy so I took mostly science courses in undergrad. In my anatomy/physiology classes, I would have to act and speak out the definitions and cycles of each motoric, respiratory, and sensory pattern to truly digest the information. It was a season that demanded not just my thoughts and time, but my words and actions if I truly wanted to live what I was learning. For I knew that after the test, I would still have to remember.
Studying and Learning
Although I am happy to now be staring at the diplomas hanging on my wall (keep going…your day is coming too!), I am so very thankful that the Lord walked me through a time of knowing how to truly study and learn. All of the thousands of hours where I spent studying for tests, have now given me a bigger imagination for how I can study and dive into my relationship with the Lord. He used what I knew, the academic, to bring me into a relationship where I could eat, sleep and breathe Him.
I have spent the last few weeks reading Hebrews. I thought that I would just bring you into my “prayer closet” so to speak to let you know how the Lord used the tools of “studying” to advance my prayer life. So the following are the thoughts, spoken words, and actions that I have been processing from specific verses in Hebrews. It is nothing revolutionary, but sometimes it is the practical that God uses to help awaken His heart, character, and word into our spirits.
“You have put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him. But we see Jesus…”
I am a jogger. I try to memorize a verse before I go out for a run. I usually like to listen to worship music during runs but the time when I had this verse on my heart I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go without. As I thought about the verse, the words “under His feet” cycled over and over again. I could feel the rhythm of my steps with the rhythm of His words. I could hear the pounding of my feet stamp the truth that Jesus is my victor into my mind and spirit. I visualized my “trials” (finances, unknowns for the future of our new start up business, the recent divorce in my family, my 2nd graders difficulty in mastering reading, my pride, investing into others, etc…) and with every step reminded myself and the devil that these are all things that Jesus has already put under His feet. The victory is the Lords. And I am the Lords. And He is mine.
My prayers went something like this. “Lord, thank you that you are my victory. I may be standing on a battlefield, but you have already defeated all the lies and evil that I am facing in this world. Jesus you are bigger than sin. Darkness cannot hide from you (Psalms 139). I cannot see it all now, but I can see you. I know you and you know me. You are not hidden from me. I will keep my eyes on you. You have made me to be with you. I choose to keep my eyes on you and rest in your victory. I believe in your victory because I believe you. I love keeping my eyes on you. It is my joy to look upon you and know that you are alone are my one true God.”
I took time confessing out loud my thoughts that did not mirror the truths that I had just prayed. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me and bring to my attention when my thoughts started to veer from these truths.
May the God who has put all things under his feet reveal to you the depth, height, and width of His great love for you.