Mar 11, 2008

Oh, the Humility!

Hey, gals. I was just doing a little thinking...I like to do that, ya' know. And I thought I would just throw something out there. Idea: tell me what you think. I'm thinking about shakin' things up a bit. Mondays: I post a Bible passage for all of us to read. Tuesdays: I share my thoughts on it (much like the posts you've been reading). But, I would also include a couple of discussion questions for you to comment on. That way, we could create a community of "cyber-friends" and support/ encourage one another. Besides, sometimes I get tired of hearing myself talk. I'd like to hear what y'all have to say. We could have a trial run for a few weeks and re-assess after that. honest (you know how I feel about being honest) and tell me what you think. Go ahead...go make a comment...I'm not going on until you do. Go!

Okay, now that you've put in your two cents, let's move on to Mary, Jesus' mom. I've just started doing some one-on-one discipleship with a couple of our high school girls, and we are going over women in the Bible. And who better to start with than Mary? I figure she's pretty important, being the mother of the Messiah and all. And let me tell you, watching her life lived out on the pages of scripture not only intrigued me; it convicted and challenged me. She was an incredibly humble woman who trusted her God completely, no matter in what circumstances she found herself.

Trust and Humility.

Two characteristics I continually have to battle for. They aren't natural are they? And I don't think they were necessarily easy for Mary either. You may remember that she was visited by an angel who informed her that she would soon be pregnant with "the Son of the Lord Most High". Her response wasn't, "Oh, I should have expected as much; I am such a holy and blameless woman." My guess is we wouldn't be studying her right now if it would have been! Anyway, after a moment of fear (comforting to know she was human and felt anxieties, too), Mary asked for some clarification since she was a virgin. Mr. Angel then proceeded to inform her that, of course, the Holy Spirit would be taking care of all of that. This seemed to be a satisfactory explanation for her and she simply said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). Excuse me?! Mary, aren't you going to ask him the exact method and time line of said events? And what about your fiance? What are you going to say to him? Details, Mary, details! But, no. Complete trust. I'm not suggesting that she didn't have questions or concerns; I'm suggesting that she trusted her God and His love and "bigness" enough to take care of them. She didn't fret, insisting on answers to every "what if?" in order to assuage her fear. She chose to trust in the midst of the unknown. Ugh, now I'm forced to ask myself:

1. Am I willing to do the hard things for Christ? Am I truly serving Him or am I really serving myself?
2. Am I really trusting His plan, or am I questioning every aspect until I get enough answers to feel comfortable?

Difficult questions. Questions who's answers are great indicators of where we are with God in the faith department. I'm sorry to say that I wish my answers were a little different than they are.

Later in that same chapter in Luke, we get to witness Mary's humility as Luke records "Mary's Song", a hymn of praise to her God. It is here that we learn one of the secrets to true humility. Praise. Extolling God reminds us of who He is and that we are not Him. I don't know about you, but I would be in danger of thinking I was pretty amazing if I were chosen to bear the Savior of the world, but there's no indication that Mary went there. She, instead, chose to praise God, to put herself in right relationship with Him. Listen to her heart:

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state [humble origin or state] of his servant. . .the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name." vss. 46-49

She was thanking God for blessing her in the midst of her lowly circumstances. She knew that this was all from above and she was giving Him full credit, taking none for herself. Oh, I wish I were more like her, don't you? Luke also noted that throughout Jesus' life, his mom "treasured up" the things that surrounded her Son and pondered them in her heart. Interestingly, this "treasuring up" denotes an intense and careful protection. It was active. She worked at her humility. Are we doing the same? Our nature is to exalt ourselves, so are we actively working against it? Are we purposefully praising God so as to remind ourselves of His greatness? I have found a great way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. This is a discipline I have practiced in the past. It simply involves a nightly session of jotting down things in your day that you are grateful for. I would also pray and thank God for those things. Doing this reminds us that any good thing in us or our lives is from Him and has nothing to do with us (James 1:17). It also focuses our minds on Him and His love for us right before we enter into dreamland. It makes for a more peaceful night.

God is pretty clear on His views of pride and humility:

"Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar." Psalm 138:6

"This is who I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word" Isaiah 66:2

To be intimate with and esteemed by God? Sign me up! Ladies, let's pursue humility. For, out of an accurate assessment of our smallness and God's bigness, trust is born. It's work, but anything worth having always is.

Father, help us to see your greatness and sovereignty and to be awed by your power. But also open our eyes to your deep love for us, your creation. Turn it all into belief and, thus, trust. We love you, amen.

post signature


Anonymous said...

I'm in Misti! Let's try the interaction - what a great way for us to get even more out of what you say.

Hadassah said...

God's greatness, my smallness...the best place to begin understanding how amazing His love for me really is. It sounds so simple, but when you fully wrap your heart and mind around it, you see just how mind-numbingly awesome and overwhelming it is, this unlikely truth that He loves us, and so very much, too.

Paige Head said...

I would love a little interaction. I just wish we could all sit down and have coffee somewhere, but since that is not possible I will take a cybercafe. Lead on.