The Lord has been continuing to teach me about humility these past few days. And yesterday, I was praying in frustration over the fact that I felt so ill equipped for what I knew I was supposed to be doing, when the Lord placed this beautiful thought in me: He allows me to feel weak and ill-equipped because I AM. When I remember those things, in that place of HUMILITY, of “humus”, that is when I call upon Him for what I do not have—and that is when amazing things start to happen through me. He is BLESSING me with HUMILITY, because that is where I get to see His power at work, totally unpolluted by the thoughts I entertain about myself that so easily lead me into the noose of Pride.
I’ve been on an 18 month long journey with humility. I knew that having a child would be humbling, but I don’t think I had any idea what a complete and total BLESSING that humility would be. Learning about Humility has come slowly over the past 18 months of Ellie’s life, and at first I was really resistant. A fellow Mom brought us a meal when Ellie was a newborn with a note about the food, and on the back it said this;
“We’re grateful for God’s kindness to you in the gift of a daughter & we’re hopeful for the joy & dependence she’ll bring to your lives!”
When I first read these words I was so full of pride that a little part of me was insulted. Being hopeful for “dependence” felt like a death sentence to me. It felt like she was wishing for my failure. And in a way, perhaps she was. But in the best, most beautiful way. This same Mom was the one who, two months later, when I was deep in the throws of dealing with a very sensitive-tummied little girl, spoke such words of life to me that I walked away that day different. She said that she could see that God was teaching me to rely on His strength, which is the only true strength, “and what could be better for Ellie than to have a Mama who is truly strong?”
Truly, to have a Mama that because she is weak she depends upon the God who calls the stars out by name, and does not lose a single one, truly that would be a blessing for any child. And in that moment I began to want those things for my child. I realize now that all of the “strength” that I was putting on each day was a threadbare garment that I was trying to keep around myself for my own sake; not for the sake of anyone else. Not for the sake of my child. Proverbs 31 speaks of a woman we all admire:
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” (Prov 31:25)
I used to think it was because this woman was just that awesome. 😉 Now I realize that it was because she was “a woman who fear[ed] the Lord.”(v.30) Which I now understand to mean that she knew that God was God, and she was not. Maybe the reason none of us think we can ever measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman is because we keep trying to be her; instead of first fearing the Lord, realizing we are dust and letting Him work miracles of transformation in and through us. I am now starting to recognize the days when I feel like “Hey, I’m a pretty good Mom, I’ve got this whole thing under control” are really my weakest days, and the days when I cry out, “JESUS! Help me! I don’t know what I am doing and I don’t have the energy to do any of this anyways!” are the days when I am actually strong. The former has one limited woman’s strength behind it; the later, the God who made the Universe and everything in it.
So the next time God puts you in a situation where He allows you to feel your inadequacy, to see how ill-equipped you are, to feel the depths of your weakness; remember that this is a Blessing from the most high God! He’s trying to get you to stop drinking from the muddy hole of your own strength and instead to drink from the spring of Living Water that He has already given you.
Just a few more thoughts from a pile of dust.