Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29 (NIV)
In the Burl Ives classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Abominable Snow Monster is feared by everyone in Christmas town! Then he falls over a cliff of ice while terrorizing Rudolph’s friend, Yukon Cornelius. Everyone thinks Yukon and the Abominable have fallen to their death until they make a surprise appearance at Santa’s house on Christmas Eve.
His near-death experience apparently humbled the Abominable enough to cause a change of heart. He no longer wanted to scare & frighten the citizens of Christmas Town. He wanted to cause happiness by putting stars on their Christmas trees. He was even tall enough to do it without a ladder. In the process, he felt the sheer joy of seeing his actions make other people happy.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
We could all learn a lesson from the Abominable Snow Monster. Happiness doesn’t come from getting what we want or getting our own way. True joy comes from seeing the expression on someone else’s face when we do for or give them something they truly want. We develop a kindred spirit with the gift recipient. We may forever view each other in a more positive light.
Webster’s Dictionary defines humble as ‘having or showing consciousness of one’s shortcomings.’ It is true that humility (being humble) begins with a loss of pride over something that we once took for granted. Did we sometimes allow it to define us? How do we view ourselves now that we no longer have it? Being humbled causes us to see what or who is truly important in our lives.
We can’t experience true humility without the loss of something or someone we hold dear. In a word, we need to be broken. Without everything in its proper place, what does our life mean? How can we make life meaningful without what formerly defined us?
I was humbled by my brain injury. I could no longer do many things that used to define me. I could no longer run. I could no longer do the work I was trained to do. It’s not fair! I want my old life back!
Yes, it took many years to realize that the number of miles per hour I could run, or the success of the medications I sold did not give my life purpose. Keeping pace with family or friends also became less important. Was I having my own Humble Bumble experience?
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10 (NIV)
Thankfully, my upbringing taught me that God was not only the source of everything in our life, but that His will was to be embraced in ALL circumstances. I instinctively knew that God had my back…even if I didn’t know where He was leading me. He became my new purpose in life, which is where it should have been all along. The saying, You find God most in the hardest times, is clearly evident in my life.
When we look at things from God’s perspective, OUR perspective on what is valuable & what is worth going after changes. Is this what God would want? Is what I’m doing beneficial to anyone but me?
These questions don’t normally come to us when our life is sailing along smoothly. God realizes that too. Perhaps that’s why He allows us to hit some rough spots. As we try to climb out of trouble spots, we gain a deeper compassion for others who may also be facing similar trials.
How can we be the biggest help to others? Simply by listening, asking only for clarification. Remember, this is THEIR story. We shouldn’t be too quick to offer what worked for us. Others need to feel heard. So listen and certainly give suggestions if asked.
Just like the Abominable Snow Monster, we can all be Humble Bumbles. We can feel the satisfaction of guiding others; even if in places we have failed. Perhaps this is a way for us all to make lemonade out of our lemons.
Help me to make something useful and beautiful out of this mess. I know sometimes I create my own messes. Thank You for not giving up on me!
You tell me to humble myself before You. Consider me humbled. Now please point me to others I can help in my brokenness.
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