Updated: Oct 13, 2020
Last week, I specifically asked God to humble me and allow me to become more like Him. As I whispered the words I truly meant, I knew that I was “asking for trouble.” Sometimes the prayers we offer to God can be scary.
Just like when we pray for patience, I knew I would encounter both “painful” and “blessed” experiences ahead. I forgot to add the adjective, “embarrassing” to my list. As my Creator, God knows exactly what I need to become more like Him.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10
It didn’t take long.
Just a few days later I went to the county fair with my family. God was at work. I often reflect on my calling as a Christian and how that pertains to how I act and react to others daily. But, as at the fair, sometimes our emotions get the best of us, and we don’t think before we react.
In Ephesians, Paul reminds us to walk worthy of the calling with which we are called.
Sometimes, it’s hard. Obviously, it was for me that day at the fair.
“Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1b-3
I had a few frustrating things happen, but the incident that triggered me to react the opposite of how I wish I would have…was…at the kiddie airplane ride.
I’m not proud of my reaction.
We stood in line while the multi-colored airplanes twirled, lifting small children high and low into the air. I watched my youngest daughter as she waited first in line. This was her fourth full summer with us. Almost four years of her life had now been spent in the company of a forever family who adores her.
She adores family time. Absolutely treasures time with us. Going to fairs and carnivals is a delight for her.
After waiting for the planes to stop spinning and letting other riders out, the operator opened the gate for her to enter the ride area. Then he stopped and asked her to measure her height at a sign near the entrance to the ride. A sign we had not seen. My girl was about an inch taller than the maximum height requirement.
“She is wearing tennis shoes that make her about an inch taller,” I informed him.
He shook his head. “No ride,” he said in limited English.
“But she’s not really that tall,” I insisted. “The shoes make her taller.”
“No,” he insisted as he continued shaking his head.
“Are you serious?” I asked. “Whatever,” I said with frustration. “Let’s go,” I told my daughter as we got out of line. I couldn’t believe that he had let us wait in line all that time and then told her she was too tall, when she really wasn’t. Also frustrating was the fact that he wouldn’t admit that it was clear her shoes made her taller.
My kids (and my husband) watched me as we left the line. They were a little surprised at my reaction. Actually, I was too. No one else was as frustrated as I was. Immediately, I thought about what a bad example I was being to my family and the ride operator.
“When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
I had a choice as to whether I wanted to be frustrated or to realize that this silly airplane ride didn’t really matter. I was acting like a foolish person. I didn’t remain frustrated. How could I when God was already speaking to me? Of course, the conversationalist that I am, I talked about the experience with my kids while we were still at the fair.
I always think about how what I do affects others around me. My responses can draw someone to or push them away from Jesus.
Drawing others to Him, just by allowing Him to shine, means everything to me.
I’m so glad I prayed to be humbled. I wonder what is next…
My prayer is now that I will handle being humbled with more visible grace and light as I allow Jesus to continue transforming me moment by moment.