Grace for the Humble
Humility is hard. Just plain difficult. But can I tell you a secret? It gets easier. It becomes a habit, a go to, a default position. We're called to make humility a habit - it's the example set for us in Jesus. He lived it, and He spoke about it often. Look for the red letters in your Bible - it's there a lot. And I think one of the reasons it's so prevalent in the words and the life of God incarnate is because when we are humble, we create an opportunity for God to bring redemption. Suddenly He has a chance to step in and restore what was lost, to put the last first and to bring joy after mourning. When we face our brokenness, stop trying to hide it or fix it or move past it, God is right there.
"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you." James 4:10
He's a thrift store kind of God, He takes the broken items and restores them to a glory never before seen. There's a Japanese art form called "kintsukuroi" where the artist takes a broken piece of pottery, and repairs it with gold laquer. There's an appreciation for this item that is visibly broken and made whole again. It's this liquid gold filling the cracks that speaks to a process of restoration, redemption, and humility. The imperfection testifies to the process of healing. The pottery actually increases in value because it has been broken and then repaired.
Beloved, this is you. Your imperfections, when brought to God in humility, become a testimony to the greatest Artist, the wonderful Healer, the God of redemption. When God gets a hold of you in your humility, you will never be the same.
There's a Jewish tradition surrounding the new year celebration, known as Rosh Hashanah. As one year comes to a close they reflect on their journey and repent of their sins, to start the new year fresh with forgiveness. The story goes that we are connected to God by a string, and with each sin the string breaks. With every act of repentance, God sends an angel to tie a knot in the string. When the work is done, the string is much shorter then it was when it started because of the knots. Our humility brings us closer to God, and this is only possible because of Jesus.
Let's develop a habit of humility, putting others first and being quick to repent. We will stop hiding our imperfections, and humbly offer them to the One who binds us up. We will give God opportunities to draw us closer, to testify to His redemptive power. We will never be the same.