Getting Low

Maybe I’m wrong, but somehow, I just don’t think anyone signs up for a class in humility.  Yet, when the wake-up call comes, it’s like, “Oh yeah, the Word does tell me to humble myself, doesn’t it?”  It’s no mystery, and it’s not rocket science.  It’s part of our faith walk.  And when we walk in humility, we’re in a position that captures God’s attention because we’re acknowledging Him as sovereign and supreme in our lives – and not just relegating Him to the position of someone we consult from time to time when things get tight.

Humility has been one of my Pastor’s key sermon highlights for several weeks, but obviously, I didn’t get the personal message until I saw blinking neon lights and arrows pointing straight at me.  Well, God’s got my attention now, for sure.  And as much as I know I’ve grown this year (insert retrospective year-end reflection music here), He showed me ever so gently today that He will require all the more of me in the coming days of the new year.  It’s not an emotional thing; it’s an obedience thing.  So I should give God what He wants, not just what’s convenient for me, right?  Right.

And that requires humbling myself, realizing that whatever ideas I can come up with in my finite mind could NEVER surpass the plan of the almighty, omnipotent, omnipresent God Who created me.  What an humbling thought.  Perhaps getting low is the best way to enter a new year…on my knees and with my heart bowed in true worship. 

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

(I Peter 5:5-7)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart

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Take Another Look: Before and After

Many times when I’m at home, I eat “on the go” while standing up at the counter.  Today, God nudged me to slow my pace and sit down at the table.  Really?  OK.  I opened the curtains to survey my backyard while I enjoyed my lunch.  Sure, I see my backyard all the time.  But today, I took a moment to really look at it.  And what I saw surprised me.

Today is overcast, gray, and cloudy.  The badminton net my hubby triumphantly struggled to anchor to the ground has blown over into defeated crumple.  A lone bird sits atop a neighbor’s roof.  The box where our garden thrived has been cleared out; it’s an empty space now.  Not one leaf remains on the tree swaying in the cold, biting wind.  Palm tree stumps – all that’s left of what got hewn down after the first frost – sit staunchly as if waiting for warmth that is nowhere in sight.  Huge patches of brown grass outnumber sprigs of rapidly fading green grass.  What a bleak and dreary picture.

It seemed like just a few weeks ago when birds chirped happily as they raided the bird feeders.  Sunbeams streamed through puffy clouds on the backdrop of a bright blue sky, sometimes laced with a delightful rainbow if we peeked at the right time.  Our garden yielded a weekly bounty of fresh vegetables bursting with life.  The green palm trees my hubby planted waved in the warm gentle breeze.  Leaves and cherry blossoms filled another tree, and a lush carpet of grass invited us out to play until sunset.  Yet, looking at the backyard reminded me of the importance – and inevitable passing – of the seasons.  After having a kinda “blah” day yesterday, I needed that message:  this too shall pass. 

I love watching makeover shows like “What Not To Wear,” “How Do I Look,” “Neat,” and “Clean House.”  Seeing the transformation of a person’s thought patterns – as evidenced by an improvement in their personal appearance or a new arrangement of their living space – is intriguing to me.  Perhaps this backyard glimpse was just the reminder I needed that God’s promise of newness will surely accompany the approach of Spring.  I am thankful for the quiet moment of reflection as I anticipate God’s promises yet to be fulfilled…a new year awaits around the corner, doesn’t it?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

(II Corinthians 5:17) 

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Where Are You On the Totem Pole?

During a recent conversation with a brother in Christ, I mentioned several of these things, and his response was, “That sounds like a blog entry to me!”  So I’m sharing this with you in obedience…may you meditate on God’s Word to those He loves. After all, this season is about reflecting on His extravagant love, demonstrated through the precious gift of Christ…oh, how we need Him!

In these turbulent times, it pays to be in proper position according to God’s will.  Often, we feel that we should be in a higher position at work, paid more, given more responsibility, recognized more.  Have you ever considered that, at least for this season, you’re exactly where God wants you to be?  In order to learn, you have to admit that you don’t know everything – OUCH!  If you’re in the role of a student, you’re learning something new, or you’re someone who has a manager and is being managed, there’s a reason!  In my first job straight out of college, I thought I was ready for a management position until I was honest with myself and admitted, “I really need a manager; I don’t have it together like I thought I did!  There are some skills I must sharpen before I’m truly prepared to accept a role with that level responsibility.”

As we celebrate the season of the birth of Christ, we must acknowledge that a stable was not the expected point of entry for a King, right?  However, that’s exactly how God planned it.  When we are humble, it’s easier to condescend to men of low estate than when we are high-minded and haughty (Romans 12:16).  Being what others consider the “low man on the totem pole” may be a position of safety, security, and provision for you.  Getting out from under that umbrella may expose you to undue problems and complications.  As my husband says, “I don’t need to be important; during war, “important people” get killed first.”

We cannot assess worth and significance based solely on what our natural senses tell us.  Only God knows when a washpot has more value than a Ming vase.  The vase may look exquisite when displayed on a shelf, but what practical purpose does it serve?  The washpot gets used daily – multiple times a day.  So how are you allowing God to use you these days?  Is He receiving glory from your life because you’re submitted to His will, even when (and especially when) it punishes your flesh?

Stay low.  Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.  Then watch what He will do next… 

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

(Romans 12:3)

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

(I Peter 5:5-7)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart