God Uses Humiliation

Thursday I went skiing. I can’t wait until I can move again. When I was growing up my friends and I had cheap snowboards and we used to climb local mountains and pretend like we actually had talent. At the mountain I was trying to remember – as I had lots of time to think lying on the snow looking up at the stars, wondering whether I wanted to get up and fall again – and I think I only went one time to a real park and snowboarded. I brought my cheap snowboard, but the bindings broke. I took it to the repair place on the grounds and they fixed it, but then I broke it again and had to rent a board. That summarizes my previous snowboarding/skiing experience; therefore, Thursday constituted my first time ever skiing. I hope that’s the case anyway, because I don’t think it’s possible to be as bad as I was on your second time.

You’re thinking, “You couldn’t have been THAT bad.” Let me put it in perspective: I fell getting off the lift. My ski came off. They had to stop the machine. Malyna was nice enough to get my ski for me so I could put it back on. I thought, “Maybe nobody from our church saw me.” Then I looked over and saw all the youth were waiting for me so we could go down together. That was cool. There are a lot of words I could use to describe my experience on Thursday, but the word I’d choose is humbling.

Humbling experiences are great for us. They destroy our pride and flesh, and they give us wonderful memories to help us in the future when we start to look down on others, become self-righteous, think more of ourselves than we should, etc. All we need to do then is think back about the time we fell off the ski lift, or the time we got pinned in wrestling in front of the whole school, or the time we forgot to print all our notes for the sermon and didn’t realize it until we were in front of the whole church, and the list goes on. These humbling and even painful situations allow us to sympathize with others and extend grace to them when they go through things. Paul said something along these lines that God comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Cor 1:4). In other words, painful and humbling situations helps us treat others as wonderfully as God has treated us.

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