“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
God has such an ability to take us right through to the heart of a matter, making us deal with the next area of growth He has for us. As 2002 was drawing to a close, He brought me again face-to-face with my own weakness, imperfection and fallibility. It was another case of “humiliation is the shortcut to humility.”
Twice in one weekend I was humiliated by my wrong choices. First I almost killed my whole family by making an impatient, unwise move while driving and only God’s grace kept us from being hit.
Then, in doing an act of kindness to our destitute renter, I built a fire in his wood stove and stacked extra wood nearby. However, later as this wood grew warmer, it fell over on the stove and caught fire, almost burning down the house!
In both cases God protected us and used my errors for good But it is not easy to let go of my self-image of being competent, wise, effective–which is only half the truth–and instead also see myself as God sees me: poor, needy, weak and faulty.
Interestingly my meditation ground at this time has been Psalm 86 where verse one begins, “Bow down and hear me, O God, for I am poor and needy…” How true that is!
The psalmist doesn’t stop there, however, but gives the other half of the story: “preserve my soul for I am holy….” It’s hard to keep those two opposing truths in mind: our abject natural spiritual poverty and our shining, glorious acceptance in Christ. Yet the tension between the two is what God uses to keep us balanced.
This reminder of my fallibility and dependency on God is very important, and my prayer is that the rest of Psalm 86:1 will be true in my life and yours: “O my God, save your servant who trusts in you.”
Prayer: “Lord help me to embrace the humbling, humiliating things that come, to accept that I am weak and needy. And at the same time help me to grasp that in you I am complete, that in Christ I am valued, belong, am competent and useful in your hands. Help me to keep that balance, seeing myself as you do. Amen.”