Founders Note: Today on the blog we have our monthly contributor Sandra. Sandra is sharing her heart on this month's theme Humility. You can learn more about Sandra on the about page.
Do you remember experiencing a humiliating moment or situation?
I remember one moment very well. I was standing in line at the grocery store check-out, with my arms full of items. So you’re thinking this was just a typical situation, frequently common place. Except this day was extremely hot and I was about 8 months pregnant. Even though I was standing still in line, the elastic on my slip wasn’t. It had crept its way over the horizon of my big belly. Sweat was trying very hard to keep my temperature balanced on this balmy day but the slip was having none of that balancing act. Gravity - - a higher calling and stronger force than my dignity - - had exclusively summoned the slip. The thin silky fabric was surrendering under the gravitational pull. Calm on the outside, I could sense the whirl of activity underneath my no-nonsense, dressed-for-success, business-attire dress. My hands and arms were full. I had no resources left to stop the raging current of sweat and subsequently traveling elastic. And then the inevitable happened. In one swoosh, the white slip slipped out from under my black-with-hot-pink-trim maternity tent. And there it was, on the floor at my ankles like an upside down halo. No denying it. No concealing it. No explaining it away. All I could do was to kick it up with the toe of my shoe and catch it with the little extension of reach I had left. The slip and my dignity were shoved into my purse as I moved forward in the check- out line. The lady in front of me said nothing but tilted her head with an understanding half-smile. The guy behind me was so impressed with my juggling act that he just had to say something, just had to commemorate my humiliation. He belted out, “That was pretty good!” along with a thumbs-up signal. Some guys just don’t get it, do they?
Although most humiliating circumstances take place in crowds, the feeling of humiliation is very isolating and lonely. Most of us want to crawl under rocks or into crevices known only to moss or moisture. There’s nothing endearing or engaging about it. But with God, humility is another matter.
When we place ourselves in submission to Him, He creates a bond. The Scripture in 2 Chronicles gives us insight. “If my people, who are called by my Name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The root word of ‘humble’ in this passage means to “bend a knee.” It doesn’t primarily mean to be crushed or marginalized. In fact, the use of the word in this verse implies there is a relationship between the one doing the bending and the One to whom the knee is bent. Only a God like ours could make humility endearing and engaging.
Corrie Ten Boom, the famous Christian speaker, answered an inquiry about humility. She was held prisoner by the Nazis in some of the worst camps of World War II simply because she held to Christ as Lord. She knew what it meant for others to impose humiliation upon herself and her family. She ministered for years after surviving these camps. This is how she explained it: “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments on the road, and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?”
The donkey in this Biblical scene was not humiliated but willingly offered humility. His relationship with Christ created the donkey’s participation in fulfilling prophecy. His ride through the streets of Jerusalem was forever recorded in Scripture, forever linked with bringing glory to the Hope of Glory himself. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that by humbling ourselves we become insignificant or de-valued. Rather, humility gives us the opportunity to participate in God’s plan, by God’s way, in God’s timing, at God’s pace with God-sized results!
Prayer: Father, I bend my knee in submission to you. With You, my life is an exciting journey. Even a ride through the streets with You is wonder-filled. Amen.
Learn more about Corrie Ten Boom’s life and ministry at www.tenboom.org
|Sandra outside the Ten Boom watch shop in Haarlem, Holland|