Meek: The “Strongest” Word In The Bible!

Posted on October 20, 2008. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

In the majority of instances when we hear the scripture proclaiming that the “meek shall inherit the earth,” we equate that with a trembling and huddled mass of people rather than the courageous recount of the David and Goliath encounter.  Fear, weakness, vulnerability seem to underline the meaning of the word meek.

However, if this has been our sole or primary understanding of the word, then we have missed the great strength and determination behind the façade of the human definition.

As it turns out, both humility and perseverance are also elements of the meekness that God promised would “inherit the earth.”  For it is in the turbulent times of our greatest uncertainty, when we shed the shackles of self and prayerfully and confidently seek and rely on God’s divine intervention that we are indeed strong.

When I Am Weak, Then Am I Strong!

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 states, “He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.  Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Chirst’s sake.  For when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties and living in Winnipeg I met a woman by the name of Doreen Penner who was quite simply, a source of radiant sunshine for those with whom she came in contact.  Her joy seemed to shine from the inside out, as if she was immune to the externalities of life’s ups and downs.

Perhaps to the non-Christian her happiness was borne of good fortune and a life untouched by turmoil.  To many Christian’s, who were likely unaware of the weight of the challenges she faced, Doreen may have seemed to be a symbol of Christian joy miraculously touched and sustained by a “special” relationship with her Saviour.  In either instance, the reality of her story belied the true pain of illness and loss that would, (perhaps even irreparably) shake the foundations of most people’s faith.

You see, Doreen had experienced great loss in her life as first her husband, and then son succumed to cancer.  With this insight, which was provided by someone other than Doreen for she herself would never lament what most of us would consider to be an unjust and unimaginable tragedy, I was amazed that she could be such a positive force in the church and community.  And my amazement hadn’t even reached its Zenith as I was told that Doreen herself was now battling the very same illness that took her family.  

In similar circumstances, how many of us – even the most staunchest of Christians, would descend into a pit of self-pity, railing at a God who would have appeared to have abandoned us without cause or just reason.

Rather than protest the unfairness of her case, Doreen chose to continue to yield to God’s divine plan, and in so doing received the “peace of God, that surpasses all understanding.”  In essence, she had the courage to stay the course in the face of life’s (and the enemy’s) onslaught.

Tested By Fire!

Now some might consider Doreen’s reaction to be blind foolishness.  Like Job’s wife who having witnessed the wave of tragedy that engulfed his life, admonished him to just “curse God and die.”

I cannot say for certain that Doreen did not have moments in which like Job, she could not help but proclaim her innocence and perhaps even question God’s plan.  But as Job, she never turned her back on her faith nor did she wallow in a mire of self-righteous pity. 

Instead, she continued to acknowledge her own humaness and the fact that she was a redeemed sinner blessed by the mercies of a loving Father.  With such a great gift delivered through an even greater sacrifice, how could she in even the most difficult of circumstances allow doubt and resentment to dampen or diminish her eternal flame?!

Yet for Christian and non-Christian alike, how many of us would consider her meek response to be tantamount to a sheep being led to the slaughter? 

Facing the firery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:1-30), Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – who had refused to worship the king’s golden image, were the epitomy of true courage when they peacefully, and perhaps to those looking on, meekly stood their ground.

“Who,” Nebuchadnezzar demanded, “is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”  While the calm certainty of their collective response in the face of pending doom that God is able to deliver them is awe-inspiring, the most profound part of their statement was their assertion that regardless of whether they are in fact saved or not, they will not serve the king’s gods or worship the golden image.

Think about that for just a moment.  Regardless of how things turned out, whether they are burned alive by the furnaces that were heated seven times the usual intesity, or delivered unscathed, they would not yield even an inch in terms of their faith and steadfast commitment.  This I believe, is the true demonstration of courage!

An Unconditional Commitment to God’s Plan

While we all face the challenges of living in a fallen world, how many of us can truly say that under the same circumstances we would be as peacfully reticent in our own faith as Daniel’s three companions, regardless of the outcome?  How many of us could “trust” our Heavenly Father through the “darkness of the valley of death,” and remain true to His plans for our lives?  

Taking it a step further how many of us, if we had the power at our disposal to overtake those who would chose to do us imminent harm as in the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, resist the temptation to use said power to utterly destroy our enemies or change the circumstances of our misfortune?

As Jesus hung on the cross, in excruciating pain and being taunted for all the world to see, He could have at any time called upon the legions of heaven to intervene and deliver Him.  Instead, and through the eyes of the world, he “meekly” accepted His fate seeing a greater glory and purpose in God’s plan.  Praise God that He did, otherwise where would we all be today.

To not act in the face of a tidel wave of pain and misfortune seems unthinkable to the world.  An act of foolishness, perhaps cowardice.  But to the Christian, who places God’s plans and purposes ahead of his or her own interests, not surrendering oneself to the loving care of our eternal creator is the ultimate act of foolishness.    

And in the end, the meekness of Doreen’s acceptance of the Father’s plan symbolized the conviction of her beliefs and how God’s strength is truly perfected in our weakness.  This became the solid foundational rock upon which her eternal peace and joy rested. 

Through the blessing of her living testimony, I know that I am the richer for the experience.  I pray that you will be as well.

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