Humility

Humility disappears when God is neglected. True humility is total trust in God.  The Holy Spirit tells us to cast all our anxieties on God and that means we trust Him totally. If we don’t give Him those worries, it means we’re lacking humility.

~ Jay Oertli

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Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When He appeared in human form,
He humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

~ Philippians 2:3-8 (NLT)

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So bow down under God’s strong hand; then when the time comes, God will lift you up.

~ 1 Peter 5:6 (VOICE)

Photos taken by Susie Stewart

 

Alone

Loneliness.

Ever been there?

Everyone has.

Sometimes loneliness lasts for hours.

Sometimes days.

Sometimes years.

Loneliness cuts deep.  It is a place where thoughts can run wild.  It is a place where discouragement can settle in and make itself at home.  It can be a place of overwhelming self-focus.

Loneliness.

Even the word brings sad sighs.

Loneliness is real, right?  But is aloneness a reality?

Am I ever truly alone?

Webster says loneliness is a sadness because one has no friends or company; the quality of being unfrequented and remote, isolated…

Jesus knows alone.  On that cross.  Everyone had turned away, even the Father who loved Him perfectly.  He knows alone.

Amazing, isn’t it?  Jesus knew loneliness like no one has ever felt.

And yet.

He never leaves us in that state.

He never leaves us alone.

Aloneness is not a reality!  It is an illusion!

We are never alone.  Even when we are.

What a glorious fact to ponder!

Even in my isolation.  Even on my island.  Even in my seasons of being companionless, there He is.  And He knows.

He knows the feelings.

He knows.

And He is sitting there by me, and looking into my distant eyes, and loving me, and reminding me with blessing after blessing after blessing….

And yet sometimes…

Instead of noticing, instead of being there with Him, and listening to Him, and sharing my heart with Him…

I choose instead, the path of self-pity.  I’m worn-out and dwelling on the muck.

Why can’t I see with my spiritual eyes that He is RIGHT THERE.

It’s because loneliness dwelt upon shuts out.

It shuts out gratefulness.  It shuts out pursuing others.

It shuts out God.

The One who faithfully and lovingly pursues me, and is present always,

gets. shut. out.

He reminds me, even just this morning, that I am serving beautiful, forgotten, lonely children half a world away.  As I sit in a quiet house day after day by myself, clicking away at these keys, Jesus the Rescuer, is taking that time of island-dwelling to reach down with His loving hand outstretched and leading precious ones to a place of refuge.  A place of belonging.  A place of abundance.  A place of love.

Small and innocent, abused and forgotten, hungry and hurting…. what is my loneliness compared to theirs?  They are not forsaken.  And neither am I.

What we do with our aloneness matters.

Love God, love people.  The two greatest commandments.  How simple, right?

Keep me from eyes that study myself way too much, Lord.  Thank you for taking on ultimate loneliness so that I didn’t have to.

– Susie Stewart

 

Click here – “Alone Yet Not Alone” by Joni Eareckson Tada

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart