Humility and Trust
Not long after the Great Depression Mom and Dad were married. Mom was 16. Dad was 21. They were deeply in love and remained so for 68 years. The Lord blessed them with nine children, all devoted to their parents. The Lord also blessed them with provision.
Mom came from a family that had. Dad came from a family that did not have. He had little to offer Mom but a loving heart and willing hands to work.
In the late 1930's Dad and Mom took their growing family to live in China Grove, NC. Dad got a job working in a textile mill owned by a good man. One day the owner spoke to Dad in the factory and said: "Lonnie, you need a home." He loaned Dad $1200 to build a frame house. Then he loaned him $600 more to make improvements and put down a well.
They sold the home, paid the debt and with the $600 profit purchased a 33-acre farm in Ashe County, NC. Dad felt called into ministry. They sold the farm and with seven children assumed responsibility to pastor a church.
The years were kind to Dad and Mom. They were blessed. Never rich, but they had enough to live comfortably in their own home all the days of their lives. And they were blessed to have enough to be generous to the Lord's Church, and to share with family and friends. Giving to Mom and Dad was as natural as breathing. They imbued a spirit of generosity to all their children.
Giving is a must for those who desire to walk in the favor of God. Yet, giving does not happen if the heart is not tender and willing to feel the pain of those less fortunate. Hugging things distances compassion. Too much comfort and pleasure alienate consideration of those less fortunate. Self is promoted with the pretension that Self deserves and that Self is not obligated or indebted to anyone else.
We shutter at the narcissism of Kim Jung Un, the North Korean dictator, who lives like royalty while even his soldiers are hungry and scavenging or stealing food. What arrogance! What disdain for other human beings who are precious souls Jesus wants to spend eternity in heaven.
Should someone accuse us of being like the North Korean dictator we would be greatly offended. Shocked. I pray it may not be so.
Yet, we are challenged daily to remember our humble origins. We task ourselves to remember that we were sinners when Christ died for us. We judge not ourselves in comparison to others. We judge ourselves in context of who Jesus is, why He came and knowing He shed his blood to atone for our sins. We dare not take pride in ourselves thinking we deserve better than others---even that we deserve.
Rather, we humble ourselves and ambition to walk in the favor of God. We yearn with all our hearts to be builders in the Kingdom, not those who tear down. We pray that our hearts may ever be tender, seeing the little ones, the lost, the lonely, the hurting, the crippled.
My prayer as pastor of Covenant Church is that we will ever tune our hearts to be sensitive to the soon coming of Jesus, with a sense of urgency to fulfill the Great Commission---sharing the gospel at home and around the world.