Humble pie - and life updates (1 Peter 5:5)

"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" - 1 Peter 5:5

Yesterday I got some bummer news. If you remember a little over a month ago I was asking for people to be praying for a big language test I was about to take. I just got the score back last night and I did far worse than I was hoping. In theory it could have some big implications for where I'll be going to grad school this next year.

I'll be trying to work some connections to go where I'd like to go despite my score, but a better grade would have made it a near done deal. Anyhow, so I've been thinking about just how good it was for me to bomb this test. I find a little too much worth in how well I speak the language here.

Now just to be clear, I spent a good amount of time in the Middle East when I was a child because my father worked for the American Embassy. Two years in Jordan and I could understand quite a bit of Arabic but despite my best studying efforts I couldn't speak worth beans. I also studied three years of Spanish much to my embarrassment.

So any gift I have with the language here is merely that - a gift (something I know because of my failure with other languages). I know the Lord has blessed me substantially to understand and communicate far better than I should. It has enabled me to be able to do a lot of ministry I would otherwise not be able to do. So then thinking myself great for a gift the Lord has given me is pretty much stupid. But that was what I had definitely begun to do.

Anyhow. Being smacked with a MUCH lower grade than I wanted (not expected mind you, but wanted) means that if I manage to get into the school I want it will only be by the grace of God. If I get into any school it will only be by the grace of God. I cannot by any means argue myself qualified enough. So this is a good thing. My chest was all puffed up and the Lord has popped it.

I've been praying lately for humility and this is a painful answer to prayer (as all prayers for humility result in). It felt very much like God saying, "Well, if you don't want to clothe yourself in humility, I'd be happy to do it for you."

So here I am humbled. By the grace of God I've come as far as I have. If you think of it, be praying over the next few weeks that school would work out despite this score. I'm trying to get into a grad program to study Christianity. This would be an unbelievable asset to my language as there are MANY MANY words related to religion/theology that I simply will not learn unless I have years of focused study. It is also a step towards becoming a teacher at a seminary locally (something which I feel called to but which is probably years in the future).

And remember, if you don't help yourself to a slice of humble pie once in a while, there is a wonderful God who is willing to help you remember where you stand. This is a good thing. We are nothing apart from him, and foolish to ever think otherwise.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year.