The Crowning Glory of The Unsung Class
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honour and life”
Proverbs 22:4 (NKJV)
“Life is a long lesson in humility”
James M. Barrie
Once in a green lushful corn field, a breezing wind passed by and shook violently the ripened ear and a solo grain of corn fell helplessly to the cold earth. She cried for help but none came to her rescue. “He does not forget the cry of the humble (‘afflicted’ in margin)” Psalm 9:12
From the high lofty heights not seemingly lost favour to demote and descend to the lowest level of the soggy earth. “The lofty looks of a man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down” Isaiah 2:11. In her former glory, she used to look down at all creation. Now her outlook in life changed. She looked upward as a poor soul seeking for her Maker. Shortly, a seemingly misfortune struck her: this seed stooped even lower as a farmer treaded over her delicate fragile wee (tiny) body.
“Yes, all of you shall be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resents the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due season.” (1 Peter 5:5-6)
This downward pressure of the sole of the human feet like an avalanche from the snowy mountain plunged her forcibly and rapidly even lower beneath the soft earth. Now she faced a new perplexed predicament for she has never experienced such deep darkness. She also scented a strange offensive smelly stench: the dung manure. She felt smothered and suffocated. The flickering light of hope grows dimmer and dimmer by the passing moments.
“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12) “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honour” (Proverbs 29:23)
In solitude, she was nostalgic of her former glories. She murmured and soliloquised to herself wondering what caused her downfall. She abided alone in darkness drowned in much sorrow and confusion. Will God leave me and forsake me as a potter discards the flawed vessel? She did not have the enlightenment of Apostle John: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) She waited frantically and hopelessly for her deliverance and her minutes seemed to stretch mercilessly like years. She ran out of her own ingenuity to save herself. Everything seemed to be of not avail. Something died within the bosom of her soul. “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with Him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)
“Adversity do not make a man frail. They show what sort of man he is.”
Surprisingly strange, as her inner world quietened, she found herself to be at peace with the earth (world). She was dumbfounded at her new discovery, ‘the peace that surpasses all understanding.’ “In returning and rest, you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15) She never knew the wonder of this raw yet perfect nourishing environment. Now she was ‘one’ with nature. She had decided to accept her lot and stay contented and choose to remain in this lowly estate as her lifelong portion. “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud,” Why?: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16: 19, 18).
“Humility is as scare as an albino robin” writes A.W. Tozer. “Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self” “The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem,” as expressed by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. John Ruskin retorted, “I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility.”
Days passed by swiftly. This insignificant nobody (seed) being fattened by the nutrients began to sprout and grow up out of her obscure hiddenness. Through the natural law of growth designed by her Maker, it germinated as a seedling then a young tender plant. Her spring time (resurrection) had finally come. “…shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.” (Isaiah 37:31)
Meanwhile, the steam was still weak to resist the in-coming blast of a strong breeze. It bended her young body as the aerial pressure mounted increasingly upon her. She felt as if a ton of weight was laid over her. This was her new adversity that she must courageously faced. “When they cast you down, and you say, “Exaltation, will come!” Then He will save the humble person.” (Job 22:29) “He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” (Job 5:11)
“The Lord sets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
The teeming season now drawn nigh and the plant flourished in full bloom with budded rich fruit. Now, at the peak of her adolescence, she now bears full ear with exceedingly great number of offsprings (seeds). However, nature has its cruel awakening: the gravitational force exert its greatest compressing stress over her. This burden often seemed so unbearable and overwhelming so that this strain seems to be like a haunting, oppressive shadow of death. Soon the full ear got accustomed to bow forward in obeisance to the affliction of life. She suffered now from a curved and crooked back as she appeared like an aged graceful widow but with a hunchback, awaiting her final demise.
“We are always on the anvil, by trials God is shaping us for higher things.”
Henry Ward Beecher
After the brief harvest, the winter season of her sojourn now set in. Her life force began to wave and she showed signs of shriveling and a bended posture. She possessed no strength to stand upright anymore. On the final day of her ‘sunset’, she breathed her last breath and returned to the earth in peace as the dust of the earth. “…You take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust,” “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 104:29; 103:13-14)
She awoke from her fleeting, transient sleep to find her glorious Maker smiled at her and showered her with praise, “You have been found lowly and fruitful. Well, done, my good and humble servants, enter into the joy of the New Jerusalem.”
Remember, the ear of corn that carries the richest grain always bow the lowest. It is not how old you are but how you are old that counts! The pleasure of the almighty creator is found in the man who followed the footstep of the counsel of the venerable prophet Micah: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord requires of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)