Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? While it’s natural to stand tall as to who we are and what we do so as to prevent despair, there’s a time and place for that. However, when we face the Lord daily with our needs, wants, fears and troubles, is that the time to stand small or stand small?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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I am now on the far side of 60-years-old. My next milestone will be 70. Although I have been a Grandfather for nearly 13 years now, I thought at first I never really fit that picture. There was still some color to my hair; in fact I had hair 13 years ago. Bald and gray bearded now, I easily look the part these days. That’s not to say when I wake up in the morning, do my morning exercise routine and walk a brisk mile, I don’t feel my oats a bit. I think it’s natural to want to look as young as possible and feel the same to boot. One of those ego boosters is the mirrored closet in the exercise room facing all the equipment. I’m a good 15 feet away from the mirrors, whether riding the exercise bike, using the stepper or working out on the weight bench, so wrinkles and other telltale marks of age aren’t really visible. I get a bit pumped. However, when the morning routine winds down to shave and shower a bit later the perspective changes dramatically. The bathroom mirror reveals a totally different Mark. All the wrinkles and marks are visible and the minor rush I got in the exercise room disappears completely. I’m looking at an old guy, sobering to say the least. I empty out quickly as reality sets in.
While it’s natural to stand tall as to who we are and what we do so as to prevent despair that can only lead to other related problems, there’s a time and place for that. However, when we face the Lord daily with our needs, wants, fears and troubles, that isn’t the time to stand tall. A close up glance into the mirror of spiritual reality ought to make us stand small.
Here’s a story. Hudson Taylor, probably one of the most prolific missionaries to ever visit China, was scheduled to speak at a large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and glowing terms. He went on and on for minutes describing Taylor and illustrating his many missions in China. After telling the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished, he then presented him as “our illustrious guest.” Taylor, head bowed, slowly made his way to the diass, shook hands with the moderator and then stood quietly for what seemed like minutes. He then faced the congregation and opened his message by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.” (W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 243. [adapted])
Jesus taught. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). While avoiding despair in our lives is good and we need to have a positive outlook on who we are personally every day, when we come to Lord daily in prayer, despair is not a bad thing. This is the first principle of working for and with the Savior, spiritual poverty. We need to look into the spiritual mirror of our lives daily and see ourselves for what we truly are: sinners in need of a Savior, unable to do anything for ourselves. That means a close-up look, not a glance from afar that can often be misleading. You and I are little servants, standing small, in the presence of a tall Savior. Starting daily in his shadow will reveal our own spiritual poverty completely. May we stand spiritually tall by starting out spiritually small in your presence.
We pray. Thank you Lord for revealing who we are through your Word so that we can better understand our need for a Savior and the vastness of your love for us. When we forget that standing small is opens the door to standing spiritually tall in Christ, remind us Father of who we really are: sinners. Forgive us Father when we neglect to stand small in your presence. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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