As I exit from immigration, a sea of faces look towards me expectantly and then avert their gaze in disappointment.
Flowers, balloons and hugs await some lucky traveller and it’s fun to watch the reunions. People’s spirits are immediately lifted in the arms of their loved ones. It seems that technology can’t compete with the giddy feeling a toddler get’s when lifted up by their Dad.
This is Peter’s encouragement to the church; humble yourselves before God and – in time – he will lift you up! But what exactly does “humbling yourself” look like? Three thoughts:
1. It means casting your anxiety upon God. Once something is cast or thrown, it’s irretrievable. When we hang onto our cares or place them down but within reach, we’re essentially saying that God can’t be trusted with them. That’s pride.
2. Be alert and of sober mind for the devil (your real enemy) is like a lion on the prowl. Dropping your guard and being careless is not just foolish, it’s the posture of someone who reckons they can go it alone. That’s also pride.
3. Resist him by standing firm in the faith for many others are enduring similar trials. Compromise – whatever the reason – is rooted in the belief that the easier path is actually the better one. Again, that’s pride.
I love the gentle reminder that,
“…the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:9)
The truth is, you’re not as alone as you may think. Like Jonah, he’ll try and persuade you that your situation is unique. “You’re the only one: a victim, a freak, a rebel or a lost cause.” Surrounded by despair or condemnation, all hope of salvation can be lost from sight.
However, you can turn this around. From your lowly position, throw your cares upon God. Be ever alert to your enemies’ attacks and stand firm with an unwavering trust in your Heavenly Father. This is the posture of humility, of readiness and expectation. It’s just a matter of time. Like a doting father, God will find you in that crowd and effortlessly lift you up.