This week has been a blur of anxiety, fear, and pain. Today, after a severe bout of anxiety yesterday, I wonder if it was all brought on by that single cup of caffeinated coffee that I drank a small amount of on Sunday…or if it was something more.
I went to the E.R. on Wednesday at around 11 a.m. because I was afraid that I was dying. The feeling remained with me even after the tests determined that my heart and all other things were in great condition. The anxiety, oddly, was highest yesterday. I spent most of Thursday afraid of something…dying, I guess…and I didn’t want to eat…not really. Eating was dangerous, you see, because the pressure in my chest would cause me great amounts of distress and fear.
Today, I’m feeling better, and while I want to say that it is because of the Pepcid prescription and the passage of time, I think it is something more. Last night, in pain and panic, I prayed. I rebuked the demonic spirits that are intent to plague me with anxiety every single chance they get and I prayed in tongues and I took the power that is granted me as a Child of God and I proclaimed life. While the anxiety didn’t immediately flee, at one point I recall speaking aloud, “I am not dying,” and feeling the power of those words break the coils of anxiety that were tightening around me.
It has been a long time since I’ve spoken things over my own life with power and authority, gifts from my Father. This is partly due to the fact that I have not been living the best Christian life I want to live. I’ve been settling and mediocre and just kind of drifting along, hoping I would end up at the place God has for me, blessed with a godly (and long-haired, extremely handsome) husband that truly loves me and cherishes me, that I’ll have my purity ministry fully going without any effort in the building, and I’ll be doing God’s will just by happenstance and the fact that He has called me to things.
It doesn’t happen that way, though. There are things that I must do first. Obedience is the most difficult thing for us in times when it would be easier to just sit back and let the rain water the crops. Considering that the fields have merely been prepared and the seeds haven’t yet been planted, it is ironic that I expect God’s rain to produce a harvest on seedless ground.
The point of this blog is just this: to acknowledge that the Word of God is solid and undeniable truth and that we, as His children, must learn how to speak truth and life and edification, not only in the lives of others, but in our own lives, too. Since I am one of those people that constantly appreciate the Pink verse that says, “Don’t let me get me, I’m my own worst enemy, it’s bad when you annoy yourself, don’t want to be my friend no more, I want to be somebody else,” it’s a bit difficult for me to like myself, or even love myself, in a way that is empowering to myself and to those that are walking along with me as godly family and the unchurched.
It is no small wonder that the word God gave me as my word of the year is humility. When one first looks at this word, they consider the commonly known definition, which is about thinking of one’s skills in the context of lowliness. While this is surely relevant and true, it isn’t the full understanding of the word. When God gave me this word, I thought, “What? Am I not considering others fully?” I think that there is an aspect of truth to this query, however, when I finally took some time to look at the word in its historical Jewish context, I was in for a surprise.
Humility is to overlook not only your abilities, but your lack thereof, as well. I don’t know how to make it clearer, sadly, but it basically means that we aren’t to be proud and we aren’t to be self-hating and abusive. It means that we understand that God, in truth, is the only One who can, indeed, see the true worth of a person, and can, of course, reveal this to us, and that we cannot assume our worth as greater than another or less than another. It means being able to see that one has value, all while seeing that in the lives of others.
Many presume, as I did, that humility means that one thinks of themselves as worms, begging and seeking the face of God to shine upon them, while they whip themselves in twisted repentance for their unworthiness. They feel as though they have to earn and deserve the favor of the Lord and, when they receive it, they are still on a razor’s edge of losing it. But, in truth, humility is far, far from this warped understanding.
To see oneself as the Lord sees them allows that person to love themselves in a healthy and honest way, to appreciate the gifts that God has given them, and to use those gifts boldly and confidently, not mildly and lowly. It allows that person to do all that God has called them to do and to do so with humbleness, because while they can see the truth of their value and worth, they also can see and understand that they are part of a body of those with unique value and worth, that they are the hand or the spine or the neck and that they need others, also with humility, doing their parts, too, in order for there to be any effectiveness at all.
Humility is not as it is simply defined and understood today. It is far more complex than simply “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness”. In fact, I believe that definition loses the vast truth of what God really means when He calls us to humility. While it definitely is not pride, it is also not a feeling of shrugging off the importance of oneself in the light of who God is and what He’s called them to. It is a complicated and vast way of living, in which one firmly appreciates who they are in the Lord, the fact that they were fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14) for a unique purpose and call, in a way that sets them apart from the drudgery and darkness of the world, yet brings the reciprocal revelation that everyone else is this, as well, and that there is no reason or need for jealousy, bickering, backbiting, sabotage, or hate. While I can sing, others can, in fact, sing far better than I can, however, I will not silence my praise in light of this. My voice is just as beautiful to the Lord as the voice of one who can make melodies that touch the deepest soul. It is all about my willingness to be me in the midst of others being themselves and to not try to be anyone else.
Ironically (or not), this was not what this blog was supposed to be, however, I feel that God wants me to move forward in my understanding and acceptance of humility in my life. When He gave me the word, it wasn’t to tell me to back off from pride and other emotions, but rather for me to stop feeling so worthless and pointless in my walk with Him and to begin to embrace the true value and worth of my life as a Christ-follower and, in so doing, to be able to encourage others to do the same, to truly love others in a godly way, to see them with the eyes of humility and to help them do the same.
Further reading on Jewish defining of humility: