This year I’m studying the very different, decently difficult language of Ancient and Modern Hebrew with one of my favorite professors, Dr. Smoak. I took Dr. Smoak last year for Exodus/Deuteronomy Honors (he teaches honors and non-honors sections… so take him either way! I got my roommate into his class and she loves it! The man is brilliant, talented, and hilarious!… okay, back to blogging)… and I learned so much from his class that I just couldn’t imagine not taking him again, so when I heard he was getting the chance to teach Hebrew at APU, which he has taught for years at UCLA, I jumped at the chance… honestly, not really knowing what I was getting into.
I have Hebrew today, and I woke up this morning full of excitement that today meant another day of throwing myself at this challenging language and hoping I make it through the other side. Doing my Hebrew homework has made me laugh at myself (just try to make the Hebrew ח and not laugh), but has also made me realize the beauty in learning things that are far outside my comfort zone, and far outside the realm of what I’m ‘good’ at. It has also been a worshipful practice, which sounds weird because it is homework and homework can never be anything more than homework, right? Wrong. I’m learning the language of God’s chosen people, a language that was used in some form or variation to write nearly all of the Holy Scriptures, the language that was on Moses’ tablets and passed down from generation to generation through the mouths and hearts of God’s beloved Israel. The language is so intertwined with the Law that it cannot be separated, so by knowing the language you have an understanding of the Law (which is something entirely confusing until you really study Leviticus and Deuteronomy, which you’ll do if you take Smoak’s class or any other Exodus/Deuteronomy class).
This semester I’ve already been challenged and it hasn’t been comfortable. God is changing my heart to pursue obedience rather than perfection, and oddly enough, stumbling over those letters of the Hebrew alphabet (the Hebrew word for alphabet… interesting similarity, huh?) has made me understand a little more of what God is doing in my heart. And upon my heart the Hebrew words have been inscribed: YHWH YIREH (transliterated, of course), which means basically: God will provide. He will provide me with challenges and ways to persevere, with friendships and community, with love and grace and mercy and His inexplicable peace. He is teaching me, through struggling with a language I do not get, that He is more than enough and that He is the only Rock upon which I can stand in victory over sin. But I’m not there yet, I’m not standing in victory, and even if I do get there, there is a great chance I’ll stumble or trip over my own foot or something, and He is teaching me that that’s okay too. That He is enough to get me there and get me through and that He takes great joy in taking care of His beloved when they lay their hearts at His feet.
So whatever it is this morning, whether money struggles or family issues or an overwhelming workload, take the time today be with your Creator, your Savior, and maybe just surrender a little bit of the stress and the worry or the pain or even, maybe, surrender to Him the joy you might be feeling today as well (which is an interesting theology that I might talk about later). And if you don’t even know what surrendering looks like, smile, because honestly, I don’t exactly know either, but it is something like laughing at yourself for making a silly ch- sound in Hebrew and knowing that despite the obvious, God has got this under His control.
I pray a blessing over your day as you walk alongside your Loving God, even if you don’t realize He is there.