04 October 2012

Humility in the E.R.

Admittedly, I am an impatient, prideful person. I like to accomplish a list of goals, and maybe one or two bonus goals, every day. If those self-set goals are not attained, I feel like a failure. I see only my inability to excel and begin berating myself and imagining the criticism of others. When others step in and mention, "perhaps those goals were not wise/reasonable/attainable/important," I allow my pride to roar. Not only have I failed to obtain my goals, but these people are now questioning the goals themselves!

I bet the Pharisees had this inward fight. A fight not worth the blood and sweat and tears. It is a fight between sin nature and sin nature. A fight between pride and self-conceit and...the conviction of Gospel humility.

I was in the Emergency Room today. After two days of dizziness, loss of concentration and coordination, and the sporadic numbing of my arm, a friend brought me to the E.R. I felt sick, but I also felt stupid. Because I thought I could overcome the physical symptoms my body was experiencing. I thought I could fight through it, get on with my life, and be none the worse for wear, as they say. But I could not get through it. I was at the mercy of the doctors, the lab tests, the needles, and the grace of God.

Tonight I lay reading a book of letters written by Fenelon, a believer in the 1600s, to one of his friends. This is an excerpt (The Seeking Heart):

"I hear that you are sick. I suffer with you for I dearly love you. Still, I cannot help but kiss the hand that allows this illness. I pray that you will lovingly kiss it with me. You have abused your good health and this is the result.

God will not only show you how physically weak you are, but how spiritually weak you are without Him. How strong you will be when you see that you are completely weak. Then you will always be able to believe that you are mistaken. Open yourself to the insight of others. Do not be dogmatic. Speak the truth simply."

I read those words, and though not Scripture, they convict me. I praise the Lord that the CT scan and EKG, not to mention the other lab results, came back clear. And I kiss the hand of the One who has tonight, once again, revealed the pride in my own heart. May he continue to show me that I am completely weak...and may I rejoice in his strength that saves to the uttermost those who are perishing. He has saved me from my sin; may he continue to chisel out the ruts sin left in my heart.

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