Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gracious Humility

I have a problem.  It's not a new problem but it came back up before my eyes last night. 

I was at a prayer meeting at my church and at the end, they prayed over Dave and I, as we are going to Abu Dhabi Saturday - Friday of next week.  We are going for his work, for a conference.  Well, he is going for work, I'm tagging along.  (The clincher was a day in Paris on the way there!)  I've already worked through all my issues with leaving the girls, going to the Middle East as a woman with a Cross tattoo on her ankle at this time in history when that part of the world is (greatly)

I am not afraid of going, I know it will be a unusual and wonderful experience.  I know I'm coming back and I know my parents and in-laws will take more preferable care of my kids (my kids prefer their kind of care anyways....grandparents are always more fun.)  I know I will be safe while I'm there and the Lord will show me the work He has for me there.

(Especially is that work is to rest and enjoy time away/alone with my husband.)

This trip is a blessing to go on, it's a blessing we can take it.

No, my problem runs much deeper than that.  Last night, before they prayed for our trip, a friend of mine got emotional about me not being around this next week.  She told me she would miss me (everyone there said the same, actually), she got teared up because of what my presence means to her. 

I did what I usually do when people say things like that, I make a face and mentally write it off.  After all, I know who I am and for her to think I'm indispensable in any way is just ludicrous.  A thousand other people could take my place.  I'm not special, I'm not at all.

After she finished, another friend jumped in and reproved me.  He saw my body language, he understood my face.  He did the right thing because to have an attitude that says, No, No, you are wrong.  I'm worthless, I know it and you should too, is not good for the people of God.

This morning, I sat down and asked the Lord to show me His love.  He said,

I already did.  Last night, in Johanne's face, her words, her tears.  I did in Christian's words.  You had a hard time accepting it then, are you going to have a hard time accepting it from me now?

My honest answer is Yes.  I'm a warrior, I'm a fighter.  I'm pretty good at love in my own family, I know I'm important to them.  Among my close friends, I know our relationship is valuable and my value in that.  But among the larger world, being humbly gracious is not something I identify with.

I'd rather put on an air of false humility, which is really just self-loathing.  It's like not being able to accept a compliment about a new dress ("Oh, this old thing!") but at a much deeper level.  I struggle with accepting a compliment about myself.  Not only that, what she was praising was really the work The Lord has done in me.  So, to go even farther, I have a hard time accepting a compliment about the Jesus in me.

My prayer this morning was simple: Lord, please teach me, not only to be humble, but graciously humble; Your kind of humble.  No false humility or self-loathing (which is just the other side of arrogance.)  Teach me to be pleased in and about You and thankful for the work you've done in me.  Warm up this stony section of my heart, break up the ice in there so when people love on me, I can receive it with joy.

Easier said than done, but there's a verse for that.  As I was sitting down to write this, a verse came to mind: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

The Apostle James goes on, in that chapter, to talk about what it means to be humble.  It's not face down in the dirt, letting people walk all over you.  It is knowing your position before God and letting Him determine not only the way you walk, but also the manner in which you walk.

I need more grace and I need more humility.  Lord, mix the two in the blender and pour it into me with an extra shot of grace in there, please!  I know this will help me better receive Your love too.  Help me, Father, Brother and Friend.  I'll be careful to give you all the praise for it.  

In Jesus Name, 


1 comment:

Janice and James said...

Dear, dear Friend,

Indeed you are the "apple of His eye".....and all the praise and glory and honor belong to Him. We are accepted "in the beloved!!" Thanks for sharing your heart!
Love you!