How to Be Brought Low

They say if you ask for patience, God will give you all sorts of opportunity to exercise yours. The same goes for humility, I suppose, even if you are naturally bent to the sort of hemming and hawing that comes off as humility in most situations. I've been asking for my pride to be brought low for about as long as I can remember asking for anything. I was knit together with able hands and quick mind, and I'm predisposed to think I can do everything. These served me poorly in my childhood, and serve me well now. Let that be a reminder to all you frustrated parents: a strong will takes feet farther than a weak one. Don't despise your young, let them spread out and test their knitted strength. God made them that way.

But a stubborn will does not a humble person make and so I ask, I plead, I hem and I haw: God, take this cup from me.

But He doesn't. Not the way I expect He will at least.

He is surprising me in recent weeks, turning over tables in the temple of my heart, places I've sold out and set up shop. He is bringing tears to my eyes at inopportune moments and taking precious things from my hands. With each tumble, with each fall, with each teardrop, He asking me with the tenderness of a Father and Friend: will you trust me now?

Pride is the absence of trust. This anvil beats against my can-doness, shifting the hardened metal of my heart. I am chief of conservatives, believing in bootstraps and pulling oneself up by whatever means possible. I am chief of sinners, living according to the law of the flesh because it seems easier.

Brought low, brought lower, down, deep and downer, I'm hands up and knee deep in my own slop and He gets down there with me, doesn't pull me out but shows me something cleaner: Himself.

If that doesn't humble me, I don't know what will.

God, decrease me. De-crease me. Straighten me out, without wrinkle, without blemish. Present me blameless, not because I am, but because you are.

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