The good book says this:
GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD
BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE…
As I pondered this, I was wondering how best to understand what it was like to get God mad enough that he would even want to be my enemy, let alone notice my little life down here…
This memory came to mind...
I had to bury one of my very best friends…
Oh, I did the service, and it was a fitting tribute to a life lived very well indeed. He had succeeded in loving God and loving people. But you have to know, he died young… His wife was widowed, his son and daughter bereft. And I grieved my friend.
Somehow the clouds seemed more sombre, the sun’s rays burned less brightly… My existence became tedious; it felt like I was living under a cloud—and I brought the cloud with me when I went to work. This went on for quite a few days. The mood just wouldn't lift, and the spring left my step.
One day, my admin, working in the adjacent office, came in to hand me a sticky note about an upcoming meeting. And she noticed that I was still pretty blue. (She had known my friend and cared for him too!).
Well, about 15 minutes later, while I was looking up something in a hanging file, she entered the office, and gently and quietly placed a note on my desk. It was a sealed envelope, with my name on it.
“A message for you,” said Linda, as she exited my office.
Intrigued, I sat down, and opened the letter. It was a note on two pages of paper. The first page read like this (and the words were in large and bold type):
If you think the Whole World is against you,
Well, it simply isn’t true!
The next page required moving the first page off the second… the second page was in very small type, and I had to squint to see it. It said:
Some of the smaller nations don’t care one way or another.
That note was a turning point. The thought that Senegal and Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and even the republic of Monaco didn’t care one way or another about being against me (even while Russia, India and China were making plans to undermine my sermon writing day) turned on a laughter switch within. I think I laughed for a good ten minutes—and then something “shifted.” I still missed my good friend, but I could start to think clearly again…
The sky seemed a brighter blue.
Oddly enough, that silly note started me thinking about whether I would even want a nation, large or small to be opposed to me. Likely if Azerbaijan or the kingdom of Monaco, (or worse, Revenue Canada, and the IRS) decided to be against us, you and I would likely lose the fight!
A nation, deciding to be against a single person, well, the odds are pretty well stacked against the individual!
This brings us to James 4:6b, which makes a stronger contrast:
God is opposed to the proud…
What it would be like to have God as an antagonist, an enemy, and for Him to be opposed to me (or anybody else for that matter).
Well, if a tiny nation (like Monaco) decided to take anyone on, the individual would surely lose.
I don’t want to discover what it is to have God as an enemy…
Best to opt for the second part of the text:
He gives grace to the humble.
Again, if a little nation decided to send grace toward a single individual, that person would do very well indeed.
How big then is the gift of grace that would come from a God who decides to establish and assist the ones who know what it is to get into His good books…
Want to be there? Then toss the attitude “I’m better than the best!” and replace that with “I’m here to serve…” The God who is bigger than any nation, large or small, will get behind you to lavish your life with blessings that cannot be contained.
© David Chotka 2020