Living in Humility – by Adam Howell
“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.” James 1:9-11
James has an incredible way of issuing all-encompassing sentences. The one above tackles lowly and poor, and the haughty and rich. If you’re anywhere in between those, you can assume you need to listen up, as well. It doesn’t matter where you find yourself on this spectrum that James describes, it will all pass away like a flower of grass. This is something I’ve needed to be reminded of lately.
Losing my job of 11 years and choosing to go back to school, I found myself running low on funds. The time to find an income has arrived. The Lord opened up a door at a local gardening store, despite my complete lack of a green thumb. Management is a skill of mine, and something I pursue with passion. This job has me at the bottom of the totem pole; a grunt doing the dirty work. My body was aching after four consecutive shifts.
Frustration snuck its way in quickly. How can this be happening? How does this make any kind of sense? I’m called to serve the Lord, not clean muck out of gutters in the rain (that happened). Yes, I’m aware that Paul was a tent maker (Acts 18:3), but that does not make this any easier. I’m a manager of people and resources being built up for Kingdom work!
Nick hit the nail on the head Sunday when he said, “There are really only 2 places that a person will go to boast in the midst of a trial or trials. The things that the world offers or the promises from our all-knowing, all-powerful Heavenly Father.” What the world is offering me is pride, and I’m buying it hook, line, and sinker. To rub salt in the wound I couldn’t make a FLI meeting due to work, yet another friend told me, “I hope God is glorified at your work today.” My frustration is certainly not glorifying to the Lord.
This job that I question serves the same purpose as any other job: that I might glorify the Lord. This requires humility, a humble approach to all things. Humility is a side effect of trusting in the Lord. Confidence in what you do is an outcome of humility, for we “count it all joy…when meeting trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). We, brothers and sisters, “know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). A complete trust in the Lord disarms the vices and temptations of this world, for we are to stand firm in the Lord’s promises, lacking in nothing. Knowing this, how can work frustrate me? Death, where is your sting?!
Adam Howell serves on the Hospitality Team and works as an intern at VLC. He is currently enrolled at Georgia Highlands College pursuing a degree in Communication. He enjoys reading, hiking, and good fellowship.