“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matt 23:12
Yesterday was one of those days. The kids weren’t napping, so they were tiny tyrants most of the day. A lady cut in front of me in line at the grocery store, and then, of course, had a price check for her items so we got to wait some more—all with the tiny tyrants being super happy the entire time. Counseling is hard with people making dumb decisions while I sit and watch it all go down, feeling helpless and frustrated the whole while. Meanwhile, the pressure cooker inside me is getting more and more ready to blow. And I ended up being sharp-tongued with my son, slamming a few cabinets (I know, very mature), and obsessing on how annoying my life is—not terrible, but just annoying. Then, He spoke. Jesus asked me so very gently what I thought was “supposed” to be happening; what I thought I deserved. It caught me up short as I realized in my pride, I thought I deserved better. Things shouldn’t be hard, my kids should always behave and all my counselees should be stellar examples of Jesus’ love. It wasn’t as though I was in an enormous crisis, but I had stopped abiding because I thought I had to “make it” through the everyday things. I forgot that I have Jesus’ life for every need, even the annoying ones. I decided it wasn’t fair and obsessed on all the rotten things happening to me. What a mess.
Humility is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance.” When we exaggerate our importance, we get offended and annoyed a lot. We don’t think in those terms while we are doing it, but essentially I was saying “If only everyone knew how important I am, they wouldn’t be doing this to me!” My Shepherd had spoken and reminded me that I am a sheep—not a lion or a horse or another cool animal. A dumb, dirty sheep. The greatest thing about a sheep is its Shepherd. He’s the one who gets us through all the day-to-day mess. No wonder I was frustrated! I was trying to exalt myself and God was reminding me of where I had gone off track. In humility, I don’t expect things to go my way or feel I deserve something better. In humility, I admit where I am and look to the Shepherd to be everything I need for today. He is enough for every situation, small or big, but He waits like a gentleman until I realize I am not enough and He must be or I am sunk. The amazing thing to me was how the frustration just flew out of me when I adjusted my perspective. It wasn’t up to me, so I didn’t need to be frustrated when things weren’t going my way anymore. “Jesus like a Shepherd lead me,” Mike used to say. And whether in small trials or large, He will.