Well, ladies, today is the day for God to help us as wives understand the Beauty of Meekness. I must be honest, I had a feeling this week’s message from Nancy Leigh DeMoss would hit me right where I’m struggling, and I was right.
We live in a culture which encourages women to be forceful, brash and in your face. So, when things don’t go the way I want, I must tell you, I’m more than not, tempted to lash back either in anger, irritability or just plain being mean.
I was with a friend Tuesday and Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., helping her prepare for their move the end of this month. This in itself is enough to make me on edge. Add to this the fact that we had bad weather on our return flight, which insured flight delays and uncertainty. We were doing well with it all because we were together and it wasn’t late – YET. But when we finally landed in Atlanta we discovered our connecting flight was still departing at the original time, which happened to be only fifteen minutes away.
We ran through Concourse C – down the escalators to the train. Got off at Concourse D – ran up the escalator and all the way to the near to the last gate! Only to see the door to the plane closing. We said, “Wait! We’re here!!!”
The woman working the desk said in a less than meek way, “NO! You’re not getting on this plane. You’ll have to wait for the next flight!” But somewhere, somehow the gentleman closing the door reopened it and told her kindly to let us board. She continued to refuse and be angry. Yet, she succumbed to the meek and gentle way of this dear man.
As we gave the glaring woman our boarding pass, the man said as we passed through the doorway, “Run!” And run we did, only to receive the brunt of the other flight attendants annoyance with us as well as the waiting passengers. Awkward, yes! But worth it, absolutely! We were going home!
Why am I telling you this story? Because I’m just now realizing God was working out this entire scenario for my benefit at this moment. The woman at the gate was reacting to her difficult circumstances without a trace of meekness. The man, on the other hand, was able to diffuse her temper with his soft answer. We were the beneficiaries of his meekness.
Fast forward to today. Tom has been out of town all week and was very busy all day today with meetings. I knew I wouldn’t get to talk with him much, but unexpectedly he texted me to ask a question about our plans for the weekend. His text was direct and to the point (most likely because he didn’t have much time.) I responded right away to his question, then, he asked another question that could have been interpreted either positively or negatively. Without hearing how he was saying it I texted back for clarification. Ah, but there was no answer. It was one of those moments when all kinds of misinterpretations can occur because of the awkward silence. There was a cell phone commercial a few years back that demonstrated how bad it can be to lose signal right when a question is left lingering in the air.
This is what happened with us. And I didn’t hear back from him until hours later.
I wasn’t happy.
I wasn’t meek.
Tom apologized for the lack of communication, but I was still feeling a bit peeved. He had to go to dinner. So we hung up.
I knew I had to write this post. And before I could I had to read Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ next transcript titled, “Can Women Afford To Be Meek?” Deep down I knew it would apply completely to what I was experiencing. And I was right!
She said, “The first step in cultivating a spirit of meekness is to be honest about where you’re not meek. Not making excuses, not defending, not rationalizing. ‘Well, that’s just my personality,’ Or, ‘If you had to live with this teenager or this husband or this boss, you would understand.’ Not making excuses, just being honest before God about where we lack meekness.
Nancy continues speaking straight to my heart.
“Throughout the study for this series, God has used life circumstances, not big ones, just a lot of little ones, to squeeze me and to bring to the surface the lack of meekness that’s in my heart. It’s come out sometimes in my words. It’s come out sometimes in my spirit or my tone of voice, rolling my eyes or just that seething in my heart, that restlessness, that agitated spirit in my heart.
It sounds so simple, yet when my heart is digging in to defend my ground, this is the LAST thing I want to do. I know Tom is going to be calling me a bit later, so I’ve taken the time to ask God to forgive me for being so easily irritated. I don’t want to be this way. I know Christ lives within me, even when I’m choosing to be unmeek! He is like the man at the gate gently, but firmly making a way when there seems to be no way. His mercy disarms my pride and selfishness and I am able to make it to my final destination – a meek and quiet spirit.
I am a work in progress. We all are. Sanctification (a big word for God molding us into His image) doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a life-long process. But as we respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we are changed. And hopefully one day I will be completely meek and gentle and quiet in my spirit. For this is what is pleasing to God.
Nancy closes with a quote from Matthew Henry’s book, “The Quest For Meekness and Quietness of Spirit” : Pray to God by His Spirit to work in you this excellent grace of meekness and quietness of spirit. When we begin at any time to be froward and unquiet, we must lift a prayer to Him who stills the noise of the sea, for that grace which establishes the heart.”
Say, “Lord, You can calm those stormy waters, would You calm my heart right now? Quiet my heart. Still the tempest in me. Grant me meekness and quietness of spirit.”
Then, RESOLVE to be meek.
Most of us live unexamined lives. We just go through the day. We react. We fly off the handle. We speak our piece. We lose our peace by speaking it. And then we just go on. And all this stuff is just piled up in our hearts. Stop and take stock of where you’ve failed, and look into the merciful, forgiving, gracious heart of God and say, “Oh, God, thank you for Jesus who died on the cross to pay for this sin.”
I know without a doubt that God is using all of these circumstances for my good. And I am certain He is at work in your heart as well. Let’s commit together to allow Him to work meekness into our proud hearts. When it is all said and done, no one will doubt who did the work. It is all Him and for Him and to Him for His glory!
How is your growth in meekness going so far? Won’t you join the conversation?