I have not been able to write for myself for the last 3 weeks. This transition is really trying my patience! I have been mulling over some of my archived work and it is blessing me tremendously. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. I am so grateful that God blesses me to bless others. And, I am so very grateful that sometimes, the word I have for another person applies to me and I can hear God from my own mouth.
With everything that I have experienced this year, this article was one of those times. Enjoy.
I am so glad to be alive! I am truly grateful for every breath. I love it when my head is clear and I can see what’s going on and I am aware of the distractions that need to be avoided. It’s real easy to take these moments for granted and even believe that I’ve got it all under control. It’s in these times of clarity and peace that one scripture always comes to mind.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1Corinthians 10:12)
This does not come as a harbinger of bad tidings. It comes to me as a reminder that it is just as important to cling to the cross of Christ in the best of times as in the worst of times. Pain and pleasure both invite the same temptation to be distracted by the emotion and lose sight of the source of our joy and our deliverance.
It’s a question of humility, really.
The root of the definition for both humility (humble) and humiliation are the same: To be brought low; to be in a state of submission and deference. My personal observation: it’s the difference between bowing down or breaking down. I have seen people full of pride and arrogance do and say things asserting their “authority,” only to have life come back around on them and break them into teeny tiny pieces. To suffer that humiliation is a fate I would not wish on (almost) anyone. By the same token I have seen others in a position of humility that others have tried to humiliate and was pleasantly surprised to discover that if you are already bowed down in a state of submission and deference, you can emerge intact and none the worse for wear. When you seek to define yourself by accomplishments or accessories, you will always need more. But when you seek your worth from the One who made you, you will always BE more. Just think of what He made you FROM.
What an interesting thing to acknowledge our origin as being dust. Did you ever think about that? “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19) Exactly how much do you think dust is capable of accomplishing in and of itself?
I am a strange bird in that regard. I actually had a bottle of lavender water that I used to spray around the office. And anytime I felt particularly pleased (or disappointed) with myself, I would go and spritz the air really quickly and just remember James 4:14, “…For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
There is nothing so powerful in a wisp of vapor and a sprinkling of dust. Even if you put them together all you’ll make is mud. BUT in the hands of an Almighty God…what mighty things can we accomplish!
We go through so much in this life. So many things that we honestly believe are within the scope of our power and control! And off we go, trying to “make it happen.” How often do we stop to defer to the Creator of the Universe and submit to his instruction?
I went from Kindergarten to 8th grade with basically the same group of kids. It was at Lincoln Elementary School in East Hazel Crest, Illinois. We had one hallway and a little bitty gym/lunchroom and it was only one classroom per grade. We were actually a pretty close knit group and I loved them all very much. They impacted my life forever and you will hear about many of them in due course. There was a girl named Stacy Bray. I remember she had brown hair and freckles and I always thought she would have made a cool character to hang out with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. But I digress.
Anyway, Stacy had this one t-shirt that said, “When all else fails, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.” That doesn’t seem like a deep theological statement. But, when I was faltering in my faith and could not pull myself up, it was that t-shirt that God brought to mind that sent me back to my Bible and put me back on course.
And so, I would like to use that statement to encourage you today. Check the Instruction Manual and re-evaluate life. Are you acquiring more or becoming more? Are you making a difference or making mud? Isn’t it better to bow than to be broken? Defer to God’s word and submit to the Scriptures. We can’t make the most of life without the God who made us.