THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
As I write this fire is still raging on the Westside. Thousands have been evacuated and hundreds of homes have been burnt down. All Malibu’s residents have been ordered to leave their homes and there is telling when they can come home. In just a matter of hours people’s lives are upended and forever changed.
Philip Brooks, the 19th century pastor and preacher, who penned the lyrics to the song, O Little Town of Bethlehem, wrote, “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness it.” Amen!
At times we get the wrong idea about how to be humble. We think what we must do is to squeeze ourselves so small. Well, Brooks disagreed; he suggested that we be as we are—do not make us smaller or greater. In God’s time and way, He will bring to us situations where we will face something that is far greater than we are. It is then that we’ll come to realize how small our greatness is.
The fire that is raging is one of those situations. It is when we stand face to face with that raging fire that we come to realize that all the greatness we have accomplished is nothing compared to this fire. Of course, there are many more of that situation, but all are a wake-up call, to show how small our greatness is. No room for pride!
Years ago, I met with a pastor-friend who was diagnosed with a terminal illness. When I met him, he told me this, “This illness reminds me how small I am.” Standing in front of an illness makes us realize how small our greatness is but standing before God makes us realize how great our smallness is.