“The leaves are about to show us just how beautiful it is to let things go.”
I came across this quote on Pinterest a few weeks ago and have been enjoying the thought since. There is something so captivating about the changing colours and leaves falling every year. It is a beautiful picture of something I have been learning for many years about humility and glory.
Trees thankfully, have no will with which to interrupt God’s perfect design for seasons and change and beauty. But, if they did, if they were a little more like me, I wonder if they would drop their leaves every fall or hold on tight to the flashes of brilliance? I imagine they might think, I have worked for months to be ready to show off this fiery red sugar maple leaf and I’m not quite ready to be done feeling spectacular! And that would make sense except- trees don’t exist for themselves.
God has been teaching me for quite some time what humility means. This seems to be a hard lesson for me, and one that I struggle against at times by flashing my own brilliant colours to show how special or important I am. At others times it is hard because I forget who, in fact, I exist for. The thing about humility that I have come to know, is you don’t add it to your life like a vitamin. It’s not a behaviour you can just do more of. It is not about refusing to accept compliments, or believing you are less important than others. It’s not even about disowning your talents and abilities, which may truly be brilliant.
Humility is about believing something. It is an understanding that I am not here to show off myself and earn your admiration or reward, rather I am here to point you to the One who is truly amazing and full of love and worthy of our adoration. There are seasons, moments where the beauty or talent God gave me bursts through. Being humble is using those moments to point to Him instead of me. Being humble is surrendering those moments to Him, to use as He chooses- sometimes no one even sees them but He and I, and they are times for me to be thankful for how He made me and to worship. Other times they are noticed by many and my prayer has become, “God use it to show others who you are and how you love.”
If you need a human picture of humility, just look at Jesus. The most brilliant person who ever lived, who at the very height of His leadership, allowed himself to let go of life, climb up on a cross and die, for you and me. Death defeating death in a three day winter, then glorious Life bursting forth in a Spring eternal. Humility leading to glorious Redemption. As we enter Advent, I am asking God to bring my focus back to the humble Savior and to allow my heart to be changed to believe more like He did.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant. And being found in human likeness, he humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.” -Philippians 2