PRINCIPLE: “When you’re humiliated, relish the love.”
It was a difficult, uncomfortable, even humiliating, few days. And I loved it!
Barb and I were guests at a pastor’s retreat at the lovely WinShape Retreat Center at the Normandy Inn in Rome, Georgia. Upon our arrival we were met with a warm smile, our bags were taken into our room, and we were told relax – really relax – that we would be totally cared for. The only requirement was to show up for the three meals each day. We had no idea what that would come to mean.
To put it succinctly, we were pampered. Room serviced every day; all meals – prepared by professional chefs – luxurious and plentiful and served by WinShape staff. They poured the coffee, cleared the tables, even refolded napkins when we went to get something more at the buffet. They made sure our every need was met so we could just relax, walk, sleep, read – or do nothing.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But I discovered it wasn’t quite so easy to allow myself to be pampered. I’m so used to serving and meeting needs that it didn’t seem right that I wasn’t allowed to assist, to do something, to do anything to help serve. After all, I’m called to serve. So initially it was tough – even humiliating. I had trouble humbling myself; I discovered that humility doesn’t come easily, that it is difficult to let go and let myself be loved. But until I let go, I couldn’t really experience the love. I finally realized that “When you’re humiliated, relish the love.”
I found myself identifying with Peter when Jesus started washing Peter’s feet. (John 13:7-9) “He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me. “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Rough, tough, gruff Peter – with his need to be in control – initially couldn’t stand the thought of Jesus, his Master, fulfilling the role of the menial slave. It was simply too humiliating. But when he gave up his control and let himself be served, he experienced Jesus’ love in a deeper way then ever before. “When you’re humiliated, relish the love.”
Just imagine how difficult it must have been for Jesus to let go of his power, to give up control, and totally submit to His Father. (Phil, 2:5-11 MSG) “…He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” He was humiliated. But… “Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” He was able to relish the love. “When you’re humiliated, relish the love.”
Consider where you need to give up control. What do you need to let go of in order to receive?
Where do you need to humble yourself in order to gain a deeper experience of God’s love? Sure, it might be humiliating. So remember, “When you’re humiliated, relish the love.” Let go – let God pamper you.