Have you ever seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Do you remember the Salt’s? Maybe not? Let me refresh your memory…
Veruca Salt: Hey, Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa. I want you to get me an Oompa Loompa right away.
Mr. Salt: All right, Veruca, all right. I’ll get you one before the day is out.
Veruca Salt: I want an Oompa Loompa now! Violet Beauregarde: Can it, you nit!
Now do you remember? Veruca is best remembered for: “I WANT IT NOW!” And her father, Mr. Salt, well, he seems to be giving her anything and everything she wants, as close to NOW! as possible…
The other evening, I was reminded (unfortunately) how much I have in common with Ms. Salt.
I don’t enjoy discomfort. I hate waiting. When I make up my mind, I want it now… Like Ms. Salt, I am often thinking of myself first, striving for my own comfort. Like Veruca, I drip of pride.
This realization scared me a little… whenever God reveals to me a little more of who I really am, He gives me the chance to change. He shows me what I am, and then invites me to transform into what He desires of me. He invites me to take my eyes off myself, and fixate them on Him.
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Humility is a funny thing. It’s so unnatural. We think of ourselves first. We tend to see ourselves as superior to others. Humility takes work. Submission takes work. But- it’s what God desires, it’s what attracts His Presence. It’s what He asks of us.
The Bible doesn’t tell us to pray for humility, it doesn’t ask us to fast for humility, it doesn’t even ask us to learn to be humble. It simply tells us to be humble. Humility is essential to pleasing Christ.
Unfortunately, I think most of us have a slightly skewed idea of what it means to be humble. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but instead, thinking of yourself less. When I choose to be humble, I am agreeing that I cannot make it on my own. I recognize that I don’t understand everything and that I do need help. I put others before myself, and I place a higher values on giving and serving then on taking and ruling. I give up my right to be supreme, and choose to surrender my life to the King.
Luckily, the God I serve understands that we mess up. He understands that we are human, and that unfortunately, we don’t have to try to be prideful…He knows it just happens. And beautifully, He promises to extend to us His Grace. All we have to do is give to Him our heart.
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Why would He want my heart? And if He does, how do I actually give it to Him?
The Bible says that you were created in the image of God and that you were known and set apart before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. The bible says you were created to know God, the God who sees you as valuable and full of purpose. BUT- it is near impossible to give your heart to something to don’t know. You can’t passionately love, serve, and give your life to One you never spend time with, someone you never talk to. Intimacy cannot survive for long over distance, it needs closeness.
Are you having trouble submitting all that you are? My bet is that you don’t know the One you cannot submit to. How often do you read your bible? Do you even know where it is? How about praying? How often are you talking to God? What kind of music are you listening to? What are you watching of television? Who are you spending your time with? Knowing God, having a deep, meaningful relationship with Him (like with anyone else) takes time and work. If you want to know God, you have to work at it.
The more of myself I am exposed to, the more grateful I am that God does not have the personality of Mr. Salt. I am so grateful that when I shout, “I WANT IT NOW!” that he doesn’t just hand me what I want. I am so thankful that He gives me what He needs, yet isn’t afraid to tell me no (or “Can it, you nit!” :)).
If I want to be more like Christ, and less like the Oompa Loompa loving Veruca, I must embrace discomfort, recognizing that it shapes character, reveals who I really am, and brings me closer to Christ. I must be willing to wait, trusting that my timing is usually not accurate. I must learn to be satisfied with what I have.
Hopefully, I am becoming less like Veruca…
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29