Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Value of Humiliation

Most of us, I think, would say that one thing we'd rather not experience in our lives is humiliation.  The times I've been humiliated have been some of the worst moments in my entire life.  There are very specific feeling associated with being humiliated -- none of them are very good.  Humiliation is also something we usually think of as the end of a long slide into sin in some way.  The person who has been doing something they know they shouldn't for a long time... and the amount or level of it has grown... and finally they can't keep it hidden any longer.  That's how most of us get humiliated.

Can humiliation be a good thing?  Here's a passage from Ecclesiasticus, from the Old Testament Apocrypha (a group of books that was not fully included in Scripture back when the 'canon' was established.  These were considered 'inspired', but not at the same level as what was included)


Ecclesiasticus 44:1-10,13-14

Let us now sing the praises of famous men,
our ancestors in their generations.
The Lord apportioned to them great glory,
his majesty from the beginning.
There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,
and made a name for themselves by their valor;
those who gave counsel because they were intelligent;
those who spoke in prophetic oracles;
those who led the people by their counsels
and by their knowledge of the people's lore;
they were wise in their words of instruction;
those who composed musical tunes,
or put verses in writing;
rich men endowed with resources,
living peacefully in their homes--
all these were honored in their generations,
and were the pride of their times.
Some of them have left behind a name,
so that others declare their praise.
But of others there is no memory;
they have perished as though they had never existed;
they have become as though they had never been born,
they and their children after them.
But these also were godly men,
whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
Their offspring will continue forever,
and their glory will never be blotted out.
Their bodies are buried in peace,
but their name lives on generation after generation.
About 5 years ago my son Tim got a tattoo on his right forearm.  It is a picture of a lighthouse with waves crashing up onto the rocks at its base.  Engraved in the rocks is the greek word "Euroclydon".  Euroclydon was the foul northeast wind that blew St. Paul's boat onto the rocks at Malta.   This ultimately led to a great opening for the gospel.  Tim got the tattoo about six months after breaking up with a very long-term girlfriend.  It had been one of the saddest, most humiliating moments of his young life.  But looking back, he had realized that he would never have come back to the Lord at that point if she hadn't broken up with him.  So, the worst thing he could think of happening (her breaking up with him) turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him (re-establishing his fellowship with God).  

It is fair to say that humiliation can be the doorway into the very thing God wants to do in our lives.

In Christ,

Jon

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