Reflections on James 4:10
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
It was a beautiful Sunday morning. The church was decorated for Christmas and the excitement of the season buzzed through the air. The children’s choir took their places, giggling nervously in their angelic finery. A hush fell over the congregation as the music began and soon their joyful voices were ringing out their seasons worship to their beloved Savior. It was beautiful. Standing proudly at each end, were some very special children. Wearing their sound canceling headphones to protect their sensitive ears, they expressed the joy bubbling up inside them with song and dance along with everyone else. They were loved and accepted. No one scolded them for singing too loud, or told them to be still as they moved to their own beat. They were allowed to be equal participants with everyone else.
My heart was touched as I watched their assistants who made this all possible. Standing quietly in the background, they directed, encouraged, comforted and lifted up their precious charges. When I was a teacher, I had the privilege of seeing these volunteers in action. Their dedication allowed the children with special needs to participate in anything they wanted; children’s plays, choir, bible school, Sunday school, parties, dances and anything else our church had going on. They had been in my class and their help was priceless. With patience and love they would take care of every need their child had. They would comfort them if they got overwhelmed, guide them back when they would wander away, lift them up if they wanted to stand, clarify if they wanted to speak, help them focus if someone was talking to them, take them out if they were tired, and helped them out in every way possible. They are a beautiful demonstration of God’s love for every person.
As I watched the choir sing tears filled my eyes. I pictured myself as one of those children, totally inadequate to perform the tasks God has given me to do on my own. But he stands behind me, and with patience and love, allows me the joy of serving him. He has allowed me a purpose in his plan, and gives me everything I need to complete it. He is my strength when I’m not strong, my courage when I am afraid, my direction when I am lost, my comfort when I am overwhelmed. When I cannot stand, he lifts me up. When I am empty, he fills me up. He gives me wisdom when I don’t know what to do and help when I am in trouble. He gives me rest when I can’t go on and peace when my world falls apart around me. He protects me from the arrows of my enemies and picks me up when no one is around. If I wander away, he brings me back and helps me focus on what is important. Without God, I would be an empty shell; chasing after the empty pursuits of this world, acting inappropriately, socially challenged and lost. God’s love is a beautiful thing.