There is no question that we each want a wonderful life. Young and strong and very idealistic, we brew dreams that we will become persons of wonder and deep significance. After all, anything less would be a denial of what we believe. In our youthful zeal we more or less insist on our own success. We just know, deep down, that we are God’s special gift to the world.
All of a sudden we strike reality’s iceberg. It is very bitter, and it hurts us. Then things unfold around us that are difficult and quite challenging to process. But as it ‘sifts out’ we realize that we find we are severely mismatched by what we must face. It is at this point things will proceed from ‘difficult to ugly.’
We discover that our life is ‘a slipping down’ sort of kind. Twenty years ago, we would never admit this. But our vision and expectations have shrunken, and we’ve become less than we imagined than we would be. We have ‘slipped down.’ Living this kind of life, inserts a humility in us. We have aspired, but have not attained. We discover that we haven’t met our earlier expectations. We are woefully short.
But if we are honest with ourselves (and others) we find ourselves– subtracted. We wrestle with our angel, and he pulverizes us. We discover that we now limp, but this is a necessary step for us to take. Sometimes “Christlikeness” must be beaten into us by life itself.
There are those among us who profoundly struggle with pain and illness are expected to join with millions that have gone before us. Loss and ugliness pay a visit to our lives. There are those of us who fight with a mental illness, (sometimes winning, and often losing) have to sift through all that remains. But this is all ‘injected humility.’ This experience does teach us, like nothing else can.
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God– Oh my, but you do learn. C.S. Lewis
Personal brokenness requires that we pick-up the pieces. And that in itself works something in us. On our hands and knees we have an epiphany. We are not what we thought we’d be. But humility, the soil that grows our spirits, finally has begun to work in us.
A ‘slipping-down life’ brings us to the ‘bitter-sweet place’ where the Spirit can reach into us to do His work. It is the ‘operating room’ where He works deep inside us. None will truly know the Lord’s touch without this deep work. I strongly encourage you to submit your hearts to His precise work. After all, you really don’t have a whole bunch of viable options.
- A Walk in the Clouds (brokenbelievers.com)
- Humility and the Broken Believer (brokenbelievers.com)
- Heart surgeons-in-training benefit from hands-on homework (eurekalert.org)