The Grace of Humility

Years ago I was getting ready to speak for the first time at our church’s women’s bible study group. As I got ready in the morning, I was intently praying that all would go well and I distinctly remember asking God that I wouldn’t trip going up the steps. Almost as soon as the request hit my mind another thought formulated. “What if somehow God intended to use a stumble upon the stairs for His glory?” As much as I didn’t want the humiliation and embarrassment of tripping, I also wanted God to use me in whatever way necessary for Him to get the most praise. My request quickly changed – whether entering the stage gracefully or revealing my clumsiness, my desire was not for my renown but for God’s.

What this inner dialogue illustrated is something that Scripture also reveals – sometimes God’s grace is most revealed in our humility. The Israelites experienced this when they were wandering in the dessert. They became totally dependent upon God – for food, for protection and for direction – and yet in that path of humbleness – God’s grace to them was revealed. He provided for them in unexpected ways and use that to restore them into a right relationship with Him. In this case, humbling them was part of God’s discipline on their lives, but that is not always the case.  And either way, when we are humbled, we more readily see our need for God and are more apt to give Him the credit and praise He deserves.

This doesn’t mean that when we go through a time of humbling that it will be easy. It may cause us to question what we believe to be true about ourselves and may rattle our relationships with others. But it does mean that even as we experience the discomfort, we can be thankful for the work that God is doing. And we can recognize that even in humbling us, there is grace.

 

 

Continue Reading

Certainty in the Midst of Uncertainty

Life is full of uncertainty.

 

We have this expectation that we will have a comprehensive plan for our lives and be able to pursue it without hindrance, and yet rarely is that the case.

 

Curve balls are thrown our way. We don’t meet our goals and ambitions. Life takes unexpected twists and turns.

 

And yet God is still on His throne.

 

In the midst of uncertainty, He never changes. In the fog of confusion, He remains true.  In chaos, He remains in control.  When life is unpredictable, He remains faithful to His Word.

 

In the Bible, King David knew a bit about the uncertainty of life. He had been crowned king, and yet spent many years on the run in the wilderness as the previous ruler, King Saul, sought to kill him.  The position was rightfully his, yet he could not exercise the authority he had been granted. And even in the midst of not knowing how things would turn out, he knew where his trust laid. As he said in Psalm 18:

 

In my distress I called upon the LORD;

to my God I cried for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears. (v. 6, ESV)

 

David did not know how God would provide, but he knew that He would. Even as his very life was at stake, David knew that God heard his cries and was preparing his way.

 

As you face uncertainty in your life, may your trust be that of David’s. May you turn to God for help and strength and may you trust in Him to provide. May you know that while the future may look murky to you, it doesn’t to God. And may you join with David in saying:

 

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2, ESV)

Continue Reading