The other day while I was making cookies for my kids' classes, a Mouse ran out from under the stove and into my laundry room! I was flabbergasted!!!!! We have Ralph, our Arrow Exterminator, come every 3 months to make sure this doesn't happen!!! I felt very paranoid after I saw him...I felt like I was being watched and felt that I needed to clear out the whole kitchen and clean it from top to bottom! I was wondering how long had he been lurking and I had just not seen him?! I am ALWAYS in the kitchen, surely he just got in...I hoped! I didn't realize, though, God was trying to get my attention...
The Bible refers to the phrase, "Humble yourselves" many, many times. It takes on various forms, for example the verse many in our nation are quoting right now is 2 Chronicles 7:14, "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land." As I said, this is just one of many verses on being humble. But have you ever prayed for God to humble you?...
I am part of a Bible study right now and we are reading through Juli Slattery's book, "Beyond the Masquerade". It is a very good book, and a couple weeks ago our lesson revolved around this question. Have I ever prayed and asked God to humble me? I urge you to read through the Psalms and Proverbs to get a glimpse of how He feels about pride vs. humility. James 4:6 says, "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble". Do you feel like you are being resisted? I have been, but honestly, I have always been afraid of asking God to humble me! We have this imagination (I'm sure satan assists with this) that assures us that if we ask for Him to humble us then we will have to face a major catastrophe in our lives! Well, in the back of my mind, that is what I was thinking! But that is contrary to what I know about God? He has my VERY BEST interest at heart. If that's what it takes to make me more like His Son, then I should trust His judgement and accept it with grace! But that is not how God operates. He doesn't wait until we 'ask for it' then hit us between the eyes, He loves us too much for that! Let me share with you the rest of the story, after I prayed that prayer.
I have a tendency to pride myself in a few areas, as we all do, they are just different for everyone. One area I pride myself is that I try to keep things somewhat organized and somewhat clean, but you can ask my husband-I'm sure he'd be quick to tell you that I am not always right on top of this. I try, but there is only so much time in the day and so much to do. So, when I saw the mouse, I did not see that as a way of God humbling me, so He had to poke a little further so I would 'get the picture'...one of my children got sick, then two days later another one got sick...it was WAY past time to get groceries, so, Isaac was using Coy's diapers, I was running to IGA to get something for us to eat at the moment, and I had to borrow eggs from our lovely neighbors to make the cookies (when the mouse emerged). Did I mention I tend to pride myself on 'keeping everything together'? My brain was a mess, and our house was a mess, I felt like I was groping for a rope that was just out of reach.
This past Tuesday I was finally able to go get groceries (without any kids!), and I started feeling better about getting a little control back...I was not seeing God's hand in any of this, I was chalking it all up to the kids getting sick and me losing a little control, which I assumed I would get a better handle on. Then, yesterday I was checking our bank account like I typically do...oh and did I mention I have a Business Finance degree, teach Financial Peace University at our church for the 3rd year, and am the church treasurer? Well, God finally got my attention...I had forgotten to transfer some money from our savings into our checking account before I paid a bill for the building of our laundry room last week!!!! The check bounced!!!!! My heart, head and whole body hurt for about 10 minutes, then I heard God say, 'now that I have your attention...' Oh, wow. It was at that moment I realized all this time He had been humbling me in these various areas. I immediately called this place and told him I would bring cash tomorrow morning to settle the account (he had not even known that the check didn't clear yet), so this morning, I took it to him right after dropping the kids off.
God never has a single purpose for the events that take place in our lives. He uses them for many reasons. When He humbled me these past two weeks, He was showing me to have my pride in the things that reflect Him and His glory, not the ones that may give glory to me. It has also given me the opportunity to show more grace to others. Knowing that we are capable of anything makes it easier to offer grace to those going through circumstances of their own. And these circumstances have drawn me closer to Him, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am NOT the One who controls the events in my life. If I remember to transfer the money next time, it will be because He enabled me to remember to do so, not because I have it all together!
I pray you will seek God and ask Him to humble you as well. He really wants us to grow to be more like Him, He has our very best interests at heart!