It was an early night. You know the kind I mean, when the day has worn down every bit of reserve you have and there’s nothing left. I sent the girly to bed at 8. I sat on the couch and drank deep of quiet and stillness.
A few minutes later my husband called. “Let’s go to the fireworks in town,” he said. The ones that start after 10pm. I almost said no. Almost. A war raged in my mind. Finally I lifted my hands in surrender. I pulled myself up and climbed the stairs. She was snuggled into bed, glasses off, flowered nightgown standing out bright against the dark sheets. “Come on,” I whispered, pushing the headache away, “get up and get dressed.”
Her eyes widened. Her mouth opened and closed.
“Hurry,” I told her, “Daddy will be here in a few minutes to get us and take us to the fair for the fireworks.”
“But,” she stuttered, “but I was really naughty today. And disrespectful. And I didn’t listen. And you said I lost the privilege of going to the fair.”
I smiled, my eyes still heavy and tired. “That’s true.”
She grabbed a skirt and t-shirt. She stood, holding her clothes to her chest, her nightgown swirling around her ankles, and looked at me. Her brown eyes were glassy with tears. “It’s just like how God gives us good things even when we don’t deserve them. It’s just like how He loves us.” She sighed, heavy and deep, “It’s grace, Mommy. You and Daddy are having grace on me even though you don’t have to.”
“Do you know why?” I asked her.
“Because you love me and want good things for me. Just like God does.”
I felt humbled to my toes. I was so tired. Getting her out of bed went against everything in me. She had been warned, multiple times. She had chosen, step after step, word after word, to lose the good things we had originally planned for her. My mind said that consequences follow actions. I had forgotten, for a moment, about grace.
God never asks people to do things that go against His character, but He does, at times, ask us to do things that go against our character. The reason is clear and simple: In acting in a different manner from what I would deem the situation requires, I am forced to bow low in humility.
I am toppled from my position of ultimate authority in my life. My heart is forced, again, to see pride as sinfulness. I am Eve, in the garden with trails of juice staining my lips, attempting to equal myself with God– until humbleness bows me low.
There is only one God. And He is just but He is also good.
And when I lose my stance of pride, all the glory returns to its rightful place.
When I humble myself and choose to do things God’s way, I am left standing in my daughter’s room, watching her face glow as she looks at me and sees God’s love.
When I bow, God is glorified.
Oh, may I learn to live on my knees.
May we all learn to live on our knees, that a lost and broken world might see God for what He truly is.