In our Sunday message this past week, our speaker was vulnerable enough to share stories of experiencing humility. I so appreciated his willingness to be vulnerable. I am reminded of a time when I was humbled by the care of others.
I received a phone call one Thursday morning from my older brother letting me know that our dad had died. After the initial shock, my wife and I made plans to quickly travel to be with family and for the funeral. I made a mental list of things I would need to cover in order to be absent from my responsibilities at my work at church. My first call was to a praise team member to ask her if she would lead the team in my absence. I explained what had happened and my request. Her immediate response was care and compassion. Her next response was, “Tell me what you need covered and I will see that it’s done. You needn’t be concerned about any of it from this moment forward.”
I was humbled by the compassion, care and support this person was stepping in to provide. I enjoyed my church responsibilities, but it was a gift to be able to hand them over to her so I could focus on my family time. Those ministry responsibilities didn’t revolve around me, they belonged to God and to His people.
Sometimes our egos get out in front of us. We want to demonstrate our importance and persuade people how indispensable we are. When we react with defensiveness, it can become a debate to be won or lost (it’s always a losing proposition!). When we respond with the other person’s needs in mind it frees us from a win/lose conversation and gives us the opportunity to humbly engage with one another.
God gave me a spirit of gentleness amidst grief with a promise that He is near (Philippians 4:5). It was His story, not mine. God is far bigger than our day-to-day experiences. I take comfort in that. I learned in our Bible study class last night to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). That’s a promise! – Kent Stephens, Community Care Coordinator