Several years ago I was invited to a new friend’s home. She was beaming from ear to ear as she took me inside; she designed and built it with her own hands. As I stooped to enter through the doorway, I had to put the pungent smell of smoke from a smoldering fire out of my mind. With no windows and lights, it was not only stuffy inside, but difficult to see where I was walking.
The simple little flash of the camera revealed the “kitchen” and a small storage area. The raised floor of the “bedroom” served as the only small “bench” to sit on. There was no running water, no sink, no bathroom. When I turned the camera around and showed her the pictures, it was the first time she’d ever seen the inside of her home in such detail. She grinned and giggled with delight.
Nanyu lives humbly. Most would say she lives in poverty, but the home she built with sticks, animal dung, and mud is her masterpiece. She did her best to build it for her husband and children. Her mother taught her the Maasai ways.
Her life is very different than mine. Our languages and cultures are entirely different. My life is easy compared to hers. And yet, when it comes to the most important issue of life, we are in the same condition. We both need a Savior.
During Advent, we celebrate that God came down to earth and became one of us. John 1:14 – “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…” Oh my, how low He had to stoop to come to live among us smelly, sinful beings!
“The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens, Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.” Psalm 113:4-8
He has to humble Himself, to even LOOK at our heavens and earth. But He doesn’t stop there, he interacts with us, He gets personally involved with us and cares for us. He reaches down to the poorest of the poor, the dirty, the downtrodden, and not only lifts them up but seats them next to those who are “finer folk” here on earth. In God’s eyes, we’re all the same. He has to humble Himself to deal with me just as much as He does Nanyu.
Philippians 2: 6-7 tell us that even though Jesus “was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (He didn’t cling to his rights as God), but made Himself nothing (He stooped, showing the humility of God) taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Imagine that! The creator of the universe came to serve. Now, look at the last part, “being born in the likeness of men.” Jesus, part of the Godhead, the Living Word, the Creator of the universe, the one who created and breathed life into each of us, humbled Himself and was conceived and born out of the womb He created, dwelt among His creation, in the same bodily form of His creation. He was then subject to His parents, the Law of Moses, and to all earthly authority. I’d be screaming, “Excuse me! Do you know who I am? Don’t tell me what to do!”
His humble coming is so much more than a sweet baby lying in a manger bed filled with hay. When I try to wrap my feeble mind around it, I’m left sitting in wonder and awe of His extravagant love and grace towards soiled and dirty me. The Most High God stooped down to raise me up out of an ash heap and make me a child of the King. I have nothing to boast of, save the power of Christ in me.
Heavenly Father, I humbly come to You just as I am, desiring more than anything to be able to climb onto Your lap, press my ear to Your chest and hear Your heartbeat for me and all humanity. Thank You for loving me unconditionally, for picking me up out of the ashes and calling me Your own. Father, help me keep my eyes on You so that I may enter each day as Your humble servant. Thank You for humbling Yourself, coming to earth, and saving me. I love You. Your humbly grateful daughter.
- The Shepherd’s Story
- God’s Girl and the Christmas Story