Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men, O LORD God. What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, O LORD. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises. There is no one like you, O LORD, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears." ~ 1 Chronicles 17:16-20
I was listening to 1 Chronicles on my way to work this morning. King David was such an interesting person. I wish I had the opportunity to know him. David's own house (palace) was built with the finest things, while the ark of the covenant was sitting under a tent. So David desires in his heart to build the Lord a temple. However, the Lord tells him that he will not have David build him a temple, but instead David's son Solomon will carry out that task. Rather than getting frustrated over the reason why he could not build the temple, or dissapointed that he would not see the Lord's temple, David offers up the verses at the top of this post, and humbles himself before God. His response of humility challenges me to respond the same when situations do not work out the way I would have wanted, even though I feel that they are the way God would want them.
Humility is a funny thing, a balance of trust and faith, a struggle with confidence during times of powerlessness. It asks us to look outside ourselves, to let go of the "I did it" mentality, and move towards the mindset that says, "I am only a servant, and the Lord enables me to do all things". Humility includes acceptance of the fact that you can not accomplish things on your own, and that those things that we do accomplish only have value in the sight of God. Without His divine value, all things shall pass away, even our greatest successes.
The great thing is, that while having our greatest successes "pass away" may seem like a loss, our biggest failures are also a part of what will pass away. You see, trusting in the Lord does not mean relinquishing your personality and becoming a "Christian clone" who murmurs recited prayers and practices verbal humility while feeling desperate inside to be "real". No, trusting in the Lord gives you great freedom! This means freedom from guilt, despair, remorse, failure, and yes, even the internal need to perform, or find value in what you accomplish! Our freedom in Christ allows us to cast away the crutches of insecurity and humbly acknowledge that your life is not your own. It allows us to be honest with ourselves and others. And let's face it, true honesty has to come with some humility!!
So I will take my slice of "humble pie" today, and eat it slowly, savoring the freedom that it brings in Christ. Would you like that "a la mode"? ~Karen