Monday, May 5, 2014

Humbled into Humility

Humility is a funny thing. I am learning what it is like to learn to be humble, even as I am humbled by the work that God is doing in my life.

I've always struggled with pride, not in a 'I'm so wonderful' way but in a 'I can do this my self, I don't need help' kind of way. To me, the pride of self-sufficiency seems so sly, so clever. I excuse my unwillingness to ask for help, again and again, on the basis of independence, of not wanting to appear needy, of being able to stand on my own two feet. But, quite honestly, there are few times when standing by myself is better than standing with others.

And then there is the process of being humbled, a process that has taken me a bit by surprise, though it probably shouldn't have. I look back on this last year and I see all the ways that God has shown me that I need Him. That I cannot do this, do life, without Him. He has shown me in big ways, and He has shown me little ways, insignificant to anyone but me.

And still, I fight Him. Still I say, 'if I can just hold on, if I can just hold tight enough, I can do it myself." But, God is gracious to me, even in my pride. He knows that my pride is sourced in fear. If I am the only one I count on, I am the only one to blame when things fail.

Instead of admonishing me for my pride, God asks me about my fear. He asks me if I see, if I remember, if I know all that He has done for me. He shows me, every day, that He is in control, that He has everything well in hand.

On Sunday, my church had an all-church worship gathering, where people from all of our campuses came together to worship. It was our 'Commitment Sunday', the commencement of our new funding initiative. There I was, committing to tithing in a way that I never have before, a way that is a little scary, but that I know I can trust God to honor. I'm also fully involved in developing ministry partners to pray and support me as I work for Cru. It was scary, promising to be faithful in tithing when I don't even know if I'll be able to start working in August, if all my needed funds will come in. But God knows that I am scared. At the end of the service, the woman standing next to me asked me what I do. I told her that I work for Cru and that I'm starting full time in August, if everything goes well. I tell her how nervous I am, and how the whole service had felt like a huge step of faith. She proceeded to give me the most wonderful encouragement about the whole process of developing support. She, too, is a missionary, and knows first hand what that is like. She tells me about how she has seen God work in her own life through doing the very same thing.

I can hear God asking me, 'Why do you fear? Don't you see that I am with you?' I tell my mom this story, and her first response was, 'See? God sent her to you to tell you just what you needed to hear exactly when you needed to hear it.'

So yes, God, I see that You are with me. I know that you will lead me. I believe, help me in my unbelief.

Today's Verse
Mark 9:21-24
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” 
“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”