Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’ Jeremiah 9:23-24
I toed the line at the annual Toronto Marathon that I had trained many months for. I wrote verses on my shoes, prayed about my upcoming race and goals I had set and gave it all over to the Lord as we made our way to the start line the morning of. Some people don’t understand running, and that is ok. But for me, running is a way that brings me closer to God. I feel His love and heartbeat for me in moments of pain and find His joy and protection in the moments of simplistic beauty that surround me on each run. To me, running is my unique time spent with Jesus. My own special way to worship Him.
On this particular day, I felt complete peace about this race. Usually, I am very nervous and can’t seem to keep food in my system. But this race felt different. I knew I had given the long months of training my all. I had worked hard, struggled with injury and enjoyed every moment. Even if I didn’t meet my goal, I had peace.
Every one of us longs to be a hero. God has engraved this in us. We know that we are made for more and long to accomplish the biggest of feats for Him and for His glory. Sometimes along the way we lose sight of the One who we are serving. It feels good to succeed and to do it all “for His glory.” As we begin to excel, flattery can so easily creep in and seeds of pride can be planted. But what about losing for His glory? What about not accomplishing what you hoped you would, for His glory?
It feels good to succeed and to do it all “for His glory”…But what about losing for His glory?
We forget that heroes are made in small moments throughout each day. Moments that test your patience, try your pride and bring you down to your lowest low. Those moments and how we choose to respond and react are what makes a true hero.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
What God truly desires from us is our love. We can sacrifice everything in our lives and push ourselves to the very last of our limits, but if we don’t have love, for Him and for others, it is all in vain.
How do you deal with failure, loss or humility? When you have given your all on a project at work only to have someone else receive credit? When you are the silent hero in your home keeping the pieces together and helping it all run smoothly without any recognition? When someone reminds you of your past or belittles you to feel less than you are when you are giving your all? When you don’t get that promotion, race goal or appreciation you thought you should or have worked hard for?
God tells us how to handle each of these situations:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:3-8
According to Jesus, we are to be humble in every situation. Whether your prayers are answered the way you hoped for or not. Be humble. Whether someone treats you fairly or persecutes you. Be humble. Whether you get the race goal you hoped for or not. Be humble. Whether you receive the promotion, recognition or glory. Be humble.
And in those moments when you choose humility, remind your heart, that is so easily flattered, that God calls us to a place of being the humble hero.
And in those moments when you choose humility, remind your heart that is so easily flattered that God calls us to a place of being the humble hero. To be the one that steps down so that others may step up to see Him more clearly. We are to think of others as better than ourselves whether that be in our homes with our spouses and children, or with the people who reject us and treat us unfairly. God calls us to see each and every person as higher and to not put ourselves on a pedestal as thinking better of ourselves than others.
When we humble ourselves in our circumstances, we enable others to see Jesus. It isn’t because those goals and dreams or unkind words didn’t matter or hurt us in the moment. It is because God is bigger. His plans for our lives are bigger. And He receives glory in the moments when we accept failure or when we greatly succeed and remind our hearts that it is all because of Him.
When we humble ourselves in our circumstances, we enable others to see Jesus…because God is bigger…He receives glory in the moments when we accept failure or when we greatly succeed and remind our hearts that it is all because of Him.
Whether you are in a season of great success or you are feeling a little defeated today, remember that God calls us to a place of humility in both situations. He wants us to keep our eyes fixed to His and not on the things we do for Him. I hope you know that whether you fail or succeed, you are loved and you are worthy.