“But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
It was, indeed, a very lofty position.
I mean, I’ve never yet been able to walk level with this four foot fence (after first crawling through the opening under the arch, the ceiling of which I can’t reach properly without a stool at grape harvest).
I felt very high and mighty, let me tell you. I was on top of the world!
Well, on top of my garden, anyway.
But truth be told, it was a false rise to power. If it weren’t for all that snow, I’d never be prancing around at that elevation. It was temporary – and very likely the only time I’d be able to perform such a feat, as it hadn’t happened before in the 25 years I’ve been gardening here.
So if I started throwing my weight about, lording it over my pets or neighbours or family, strutting my stuff as the new resident super power, it would be mighty silly.
I know where I belong.
At ground level.
But the idea of this tall tale got me to thinking.
How foolish, to pretend to be something I’m not. To twist any small advantage over someone else. To put myself forward, to jostle for position, to struggle and connive for some sort of leg up in the competition. To spit off about my rights.
It’s not that God doesn’t like the concept of lifting us up to His level – because His grace does that over and over.
It’s that He wants to do the heavy lifting.
Just let that sink in for a bit.
God’s Word is chock full of stories of using the underdog, elevating the insignificant, honouring the downtrodden. He has made shepherd boys kings, and called farmers and peasants as prophets. He has honoured a poor widow’s gift, multiplied a foreign woman’s oil, and included a prostitute’s name in the genealogy of His Son. He chooses – nay, He delights in choosing the feeble, the frail, the fearful, the forgotten ones to accomplish His amazing plans for redemption.
But those who lord it over others, exalt their feet above the level of those who are down to earth, those He not only chooses not to use, but actively opposes.
If Jesus, who commanded millions of angels, could lower Himself to ‘street level’ – well, who are we to feel we have any right to get all high and mighty?
If God wants you set on a pedestal, allow Him the privilege of setting you there.
Meanwhile, keep your feet on solid ground in the footsteps of the Rabbi whose feet were never too proud to go where He was needed most.
Stay humble with me?
Father, how wonderful of You to reach down and pick us up out of the dust! Remind us of the beauty and purity of Jesus’ humility, and teach us to emulate it daily. Amen.