We Need a Personal Trainer for Our Souls
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. — Psalm 62:2
People these days spend a lot of money to get in shape. We pay for gyms and nutritionists, and some people will spend hundreds of dollars on personal trainers. We spend the money because we know that no matter how uncomfortable it is to work hard, our fitness will improve, and we will become stronger. Well, today I’m here to tell you that we all have a personal soul trainer — and He’s absolutely free.
Shaping Our Souls
Just as we need to work on our bodies to get in shape, God will cause us to work hard so that He can shape our souls. In Psalm 62, David referred to God as “my rock and my salvation.” What exactly does this mean?
The Jewish sages comment that God as our rock has two different meanings. Sometimes it means that God is a firm base for us so that we don’t sink in our troubles and challenges. That’s definitely God as our salvation. However, there is another meaning to the Hebrew word tzuri from Scripture. It can mean “my rock,” but it can also mean “my shaper.”
David taught us that when things go our way and we receive miraculous salvation, then that’s God being our rock. However, when things don’t turn out how we might like, it’s a different form of salvation. In those times, God is our shaper. God uses our difficult circumstances in order to form us and shape us into better people.
Understand the Context
So much of what we determine in life to be bad for us is actually good for us. Think about it. If we didn’t know better, when we witnessed a personal fitness trainer making someone work so hard that the person was dripping in sweat and his or her face looked distressed, we might think that the trainer was a horrible and heartless individual. But when we know the context, we understand that the trainer is doing that person a great service. Because of the sweat and stress, that person is going to look better and feel better than ever.
In the same way, God may send us various challenges and tests. We might have an impatient child or a critical parent. God is training us to be patient and compassionate. God might place us in a situation where we don’t have a job. He’s training us to have faith in Him, and often enough, to find talents and strengths within ourselves that we never knew about.
So when life isn’t solid like a rock, let’s remember that God is showing up as our shaper — our very personal, all-knowing soul trainer. It’s during those times that we need to work hard in order that we may come out of every trial in the best spiritual shape possible.
Yael Eckstein is the president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. As President of The Fellowship, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of the world’s largest, religious not-for-profit organizations, having raised $1.8 billion — mostly from Christians — to assist Israel and the Jewish people. She is the author of the newly released Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to our Children.