Psalm 112:1,7

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
–Psalm 112:1,7 (ESV)

I read verse 7 of Psalm 112 today, and it struck me despite its simplicity. I put in verse 1 for context. The man who fears the Lord is not afraid of bad news. His heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. This verse struck me because I have found myself in recent days praying contritely not only for God’s mercy and providence (i.e. blessing) but for resolve and peace during hardships. I have been constantly reminded of how good I have it in America, having grown up in a largely crime-free suburban area with a vibrant and supportive Korean-American community, having parents and a brother who care and love for me deeply. Even as a college student in South Los Angeles, my only hassles are having the power in the house go out whenever the microwave and hair dryer are on at the same time (but having plenty of freezer space for all the food I could possibly want), worrying about my bike getting stolen (but having money to buy another one if it disappears), and having the cats leave muddy footprints on my car (but having a well-functioning car and my own parking spot). It would be foolish of me to lament any hardship I endure and blame God for being unfair. God has indeed been unfair: He has given me so much when I deserved nothing.

Last Friday, I went parkour training on campus. I had my keys and student ID with me. I decided to take them out of the pockets of my running shorts and leave them in the soil area around SOS while I did stuff at that building and around Leavey. After spending some time around Trojan Grounds, I came back to retrieve my things and found that they were gone. I was concerned but not very panicked for some reason. I had a orientation and training session for my new internship I needed to attend in two hours; I still needed to take a shower and eat lunch. Without my keys I couldn’t unlock my bike, which I had ridden to campus, so I would have to walk back to my house, not to mention I couldn’t drive my car to work. I ran over to the DPS office and asked if anyone had turned in a set of keys and ID. Nope. The DPS officer told me to check Topping Student Center. Nope. I wasn’t yet ready to accept the possibility that someone took my stuff with malicious intent. I walked home, not knowing exactly what to do.

I got a call from my mom within minutes of getting home. She asked me if I was okay and if I had found my keys. I was like…how did you know I lost my keys? She said someone from the history department had called her and told her someone had turned in my belongings. She was scared that something bad had happened to me; I, on the other hand, was amazed that the lady who received my things looked me up in the system and left a message on my cell phone and also called my mom at home to let her know. I hitched a ride back to campus with my roommate (so glad at least one of my roommates was in the house so I could check my cell phone; school still hadn’t started yet) and picked up my stuff.

I realize I’ve written quite a bit just to tell a short story. The only thing I want to note to end is that the Holy Spirit has kept me peaceful in the midst of uncertainty. The few days before today, the first day of the spring semester, my prayers have included the uncomfortable realization that my busier schedule may result in sleep deprivation, less opportunity for people interaction, and stress (“bad news”). But after I humbly concede the real possibility of not-so-good circumstances ahead to God, I rest content, knowing that whatever happens is not in vain (“his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord”).

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