The overarching lesson that the Lord has been teaching me these last couple of months is humility. It is something that is valued by both God and men, yet few actually possess or even understand it. I have struggled to grasp it in a practical way. It seems I'm either being a little too proud of myself, my opinions, and my abilities or I'm beating myself up for my faults and mistakes. Both of these are actually pride, as they are totally self-focused. That's the real problem. I can't quit thinking about myself - whether in a positive or negative way.

In Chan's Crazy Love, he gives such a great illustration of how most of us behave. I'm going to paraphrase, which means I won't say it nearly as well as he does. Basically, we are the extras in the movie of history and life. We are one in a giant crowd, while Jesus/God is the main character...the lead, if you will. How foolish would it be for an extra in a movie to book an entire theater and invite everyone they'd ever known to come see them star in their new movie on opening night? Then, when the movie is over, everyone looks at this person in puzzlement, because they didn't even notice his part in the movie. But that's how we behave. We act and think as though life were all about us, when, in reality, we just have a tiny part in a MUCH bigger picture. The main focus here, the star of the show, is Jesus. We are quite deluded into thinking we have a much more important part than we do.

Tozer describes the meek, or humble, man as someone not afflicted with his own sense of inferiority, but someone who has stopped being fooled about himself. "He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything...He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring...As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings." Another wonderful description he gives for meekness is self-forgetfulness.

To forget myself. Wow. I find it absolutely impossible. Even when I am doing something good, my thoughts are usually directed toward myself in some way. I'm patting myself on my back for my good deed, wondering who saw me doing it, wondering what everyone else did and if it was better, etc. To live my life so totally focused on God and dependent on His strength, wisdom, power, and ablilities seems impossible. I desire to live that way, yet my feeble, selfish brain always wanders back to ME. I want that peace that meekness brings. I want to stop comparing myself to others and coming up short. I want to stop being timid when God asks me to act because of my independence. I want to stop pretending to be someone other than the wretched, blind sinner I am, yet not feel the need to apologize, put myself down, or make excuses. I desire the easy yoke of Christ's meekness...where He is enough for me and I don't care about appearances or popularity or approval from men. My prayer is that of Tozer: Lay upon me Thy easy yoke of self-forgetfulness that through it I may find rest.

The Lord has been giving me many opportunities lately to pray for and put to use humility. It seems that everything I undertake for Him ends up being small. Our weekly girls' group has dwindled over the summer months., averaging about five or six a week. I am going on a mission trip as one of only five participants to a small church in a small town to help with a small VBS. My class I'm teaching at the Lovelady Center has five students. Five seems to be a theme here. As always, I'm feeling unpopular and like the social scene has passed me by. Our Sunday School class, which Chris co-teaches, struggles with consistent attendance or commitment. But, in all these things, God keeps quietly whispering, "It's not about you, Amy." Who's to say that a mission trip with four other people to a small church plant in an obscure place is not just as important to God as a large team going to a third-world country and successfully sharing the gospel with hundreds of people? Who am I to say that the five girls who show up on any given week are not the ones that God wants to work in and through on that very night?

His thoughts are not my thoughts. They are so much higher. His ways are not my ways. They are so much greater. His story of redemption is not all about this one person out of the billions who have lived. Yet, if I was the only one here, He would provide the offer of redemption for me. That is how great His love is for this one, tiny, obscure, unimportant, sinful girl. I cannot fathom His greatness or His love. But I am thankful for them just the same. He is worthy of my every thought, affection, and desire. Maybe one day I'll realize that and never go back to the empty life focused on my own unworthy, yet gloriously saved, soul.

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

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
I Peter 5:6


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