We have been caught in a waiting net for over two months. My poor husband has endured pain that I’m all too familiar with. I never thought he would have to really know what it was like to live with the dreaded companion named Pain, but he has had to endure more than my heart can take. Yet, as God always does, He has opened our eyes to a very important muscle that we hadn’t been all that familiar with – one we don’t use all that often. Yet, this time, it was pain-free.
For weeks, we had so many wonderful friends bringing us meals. Each one was as much of a help as the next and it brought such joy to my family, knowing each meal was made with the love of a servant’s heart. We can’t thank all those precious people enough for spoiling us with their food, with their love. But it was one Saturday afternoon that taught me a priceless lesson – it was a lesson of love, a lesson of peace, a lesson of humility.
That afternoon, yet another servant’s heart showed up at our home with food. But it was the details of her love that stood out to me. She carried in plates, napkins, utensils. There were even rolls and a pie. But it was the last item that stopped me dead in my tracks – a gallon of unsweet tea. Now those of you who know me, know my love for unsweet tea – she, however, did not. She just stuck it in the fridge like an afterthought and off she went. In the quiet of my kitchen, I looked around and a geyser of realization hit me. My God loves me. He LOVES me. He loves me enough to whisper into the heart of that servant, on my behalf. Not only did He provide all this food for us, but in the midst of my exhausted heart, He provided me with a little joy in the form of a caffeinated gallon of yummy goodness. He loves me that much. He not only met our needs, but He met my pleasures. All without me even asking. I started to cry and I couldn’t stop – the flood gates had been opened to my weary heart. I felt so humbled that God would bless us with beautiful friends and met needs.
Humble. I love the way Webster’s Dictionary defines it for us. To be humble means reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference (a way of behaving that shows respect) or submission. The world view of being humbled tends to lean toward us being put in “our place”. The more my heart searched for answers on what it meant to be truly humble, the more I saw that to be true. There are seasons our lives are full of joy, contentment, peace. But there are also seasons we are caught in despair, heart ache, pain – those should be the moments we thank Him the most, because in those moments, we really see where “our place” is. That place is right behind Him – not in front trying to take the lead, not trying to solve those problems by our own doing, not running in the opposite direction. Sometimes to be humble is to know “our place” – our place with Christ.
That Saturday in my kitchen, I realized how little I had asked of Him. If “our place” is truly behind Jesus, why was I not asking Him to fulfill ALL my needs instead of me trying to take the lead? I had been trusting Him with the big stuff – healing of sick friends and family, children to grow in Him, hope in our crumbling humanity. But, if He loves me enough to meet my little desire for tea, why am I not coming to Him for every little detail in my life? He’s not too busy – He’s there, waiting for me to pour my heart to Him. You see, when we bring every little detail to Him, He shows up. Not always in the way we think He will, but in the way of strengthening that connection to Him. In those moments, we WANT to know more of Him, and His character. He hears us in our deepest need and our smallest desires. “Because your heart was so responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what He spoke against this place and it’s people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord” 2 Chronicles 34:27.
He hears us when we humble ourselves before him.
When we realize that “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them the way” Psalm 25:9, we see that complete submission to His leading is truly “our place”. He’s in front remember? He’s the one that knows the road and which way to turn at those confusing and complicated intersections of life. He is our Guidance, but only if we are willing to get in the back seat.
Don’t worry, I’m sure there are cup holders for our tea.
“In His distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors” 2 Chronicles 33:12