Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God 1: Sarah...1?

There are some bible verses that I absolutely hate.

I know, I'm a Christian and I'm supposed to love the whole of the word of God. I think, underneath, perhaps I really do, but, frequently, I hate pieces of it.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
I hate this verse.

I hate it because, in 10 words, it describes exactly what I am not. It is the "antonym of me," if you want to get all David Crowder.

I hate it because I find my security in my self-sufficiency. I survive failure and weakness by ducking my head and then systematically digging myself out of my circumstances. Do whatever it takes; lie, cheat, or steal, whatever you have to do, just so long as you don't have to ask for help.

There is only one situation where in I am meek, and this is the worst part. I am meek only when I am utterly humiliated. When I am laid bare, stripped of my pretense, when my inability is made painfully obvious and I am left desperate and empty handed.

When my insufficiency drives me to the grace of God, instead of longing for His aid, like the prodigal son, I begin to resent it. I hate that He has driven me to nothing, or rather to admit my nothingness. I hide my face from the world, come before my creditors shame-faced begging that they will not look at me.

I hate this place of humility, of painful meekness, with a passion and I avoid it like a deadly infectious disease.

You see, the very reason that I don't like meekness is that meek people are tamed. I think of a benign placid cow or a sheep, who wants to be a cow or a sheep? Where is the honor in that? Stupid. Weak. Unable to care for itself. These are characteristics that, whatever I may say about loving the bible, I do not respect and never want to be.

But what about a wild ox or ram? They may be majestic and powerful, but can you use them? How can God use a person who refuses gentling, who doesn't trust a Master and instead insists on doing this is own way? Would I rather be honorable and proud or useful?
"But the fruit of the spirit is...meekness" Galatians 5:23
"Any tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." Luke 3:9
I learned something when I went into the woods. I learned that until I can love the humiliation of God, until I can love my meekness and insufficiency, I'm useless. Hopelessly handicapped. I prayed with a truly fearful heart, that God would humble me, that he would do whatever He needed to do to make me useful. That was not a prayer that ended in serenity.

It didn't take long.

I was humiliated today. I faced an impossible situation, nothing too dramatic, but definitely something I couldn't overcome. It became obvious that I needed to ask for help, and this tore me apart inside. What was, initially, a very insignificant problem swelled to life-crushing proportions simply because I knew I needed help. Still I desperately searched for a way to help myself, knowing in the back of my mind that I was very close to having a serious breakdown over a ridiculously small issue.

Now for the good news.

As desperation tied my guts in to tighter and tighter knots of nausea, I heard the voice. The one that said there was a bigger issue here, that my pride and self-sufficiency were doing a dangerous thing in my heart and needed to be disabled quickly. Instead of looking for a way out, I needed to admit my weakness and not just to God. So I did the impossible: I called for help.

Because, as I said, it really was not much of an issue, the help was there before I even asked. I chafed over the ready-grace. I cried tears of shame and the sick feeling in my guts remained as my pride rejected the act of meekness.

But the beautiful paradox is that the reason I am so sickened by this outcome is that I lost this fight, and, if I lose...

...God wins.

"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness...for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10


  1. Okay, your plank is even rawer than mine. You win the plank wars. :)

    Hope you find peace and surrender and trust and all those other things that we're all seeking in God.

  2. Haha! Thank God for small victories! Thanks for your encouragement and honesty and thanks for what you posted today.

    "I've never liked living a life of downward comparisons," <--good one, that!