Category Archives: Humility

Without Wings

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  James 4:10

There are plenty of things crafted by the Master’s hand that goes counter to all things understood.  In many ways we would consider these things “exceptions” to whatever rule they seem to break.  For instance, the Platypus, an ostrich-headegg-laying mammal — seems a bit odd, don’t you think?  Let’s consider the Bat, a flying mammal — blind none-the-less — still a bit odd.  How about a Penguin?  A bird, that swims!  Speaking of birds, what’s up with the Ostrich?  A bird that has wings, but cannot fly!  Imagine if it could though — wow!

God is the only one that can get away with this kind of “exception-al” thinking or doing!  It truly demonstrates the mastery of His design.  When we try to apply some of these same exceptions to things created by human hands, it doesn’t quite run the same “exception-al” rules.  For instance, we don’t drive boats on the road, nor can we get a hot-air balloon to lift with water!  Perhaps more so, we have yet to create or design a plane that could fly without wings.  It just doesn’t happen.

But beyond all things tangible things, God also created a relationship that is truly “exception-al.”  It is built with love at it’s core, faith as it’s fuel and hope in it’s veins.  All of which assume their own “exception-al” design.  Further, God reminds us that in order to be more like Him we must humble ourselves before Him and man. Seems “exception-al” to me!!  In essence, He says, deflate your pride and I will make you soar on the wings of eagles!  What?

He has designed us without wings — yet, He has promised to lift us high if we are to humble ourselves.  That means making life all about Him and little about me!  That means saying, “I wanna do life Your way, not my way!”

Thank you Lord Jesus for doing an “exception-al” work in me!  You designed me to love the unlovable, to worship the God of the universe, to soar without wings, to taste and see!  Continue to show your immeasurable love to me each day as I learn more about dropping my pride to the curb!

by:  Mark Cruver

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Beyond Comprehension


Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8

Today is simple. Summed up in a simple, yet humbling and submissive prayer. I cannot take credit for originally authoring this prayer as it was written by Anabel Gillham. Her words, however, echo my sentiment and heart toward my Heavenly Father. I share them because maybe, just maybe, they will resonate with your own.

Dear Father,

You are aware of everything that is going on in my world at the present time . . . what has happened in the past . . . and what is to come in my future. That is beyond my comprehension. You know all of my needs before I even tell You about them. That, too, is beyond my comprehension. But I accept it as Truth. I know it. And in spite of that, knowing, I enumerate all of my needs to You time after time. Of course, the presupposition would be that I don’t believe You heard me and You’re doing nothing about these crises of mine. Well, that’s wrong. It’s for my own benefit that I present them to You over and over again. I guess I think this will communicate to You how important they are to me. (I am so limited in my understanding of You.) Thank You that You have heard me as I talked to You and that You have taken these petitions and You are working Your mighty plan in each of them. In Your timing I will see and understand. My wisdom is infinitesimally small. Your wisdom is infinite.I refuse to tell You WHAT to do . . . but please confirm to me that You are DOING.

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But A Memory

“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:1

On this well deserved day of reflection and honor of those who have given their lives for the freedom of our country, I am also in much reflection of another who gave His life for me … for the entire world.

My reflection brings about what most would consider a standard response of awe, wonder and humility mixed with curiosity of my own participation in His crucifixion along with His consideration of me while on that cross. More than two-thousand years later I am breathing the air He created since He took His last breath. And yet, my life to Him is but a memory.

The point you may ask? The point is not that I’m merely a reflected moment of time in His mind. On the contrary, I was as much present on the cross as He is present with me today.

While my time is merely measured in units of minutes and years, His time is measured by eternity. And with that said, I am currently seated with Him.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

Lord Jesus, my mind gets overwhelmed with the idea of not only what you think of me, but how long you’ve been thinking of me. You have begun a good work in me and you will not stop until you have perfected your work in me. Thank you for never giving up! Thank you for going before me and preparing the way!

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Carrying Glory

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written:  “Be holy, because I am holy.”  I Peter 1:13-16

My story includes countless moments when I’ve lost sight of God’s purpose in me.  I’ve set my mind to things and made choices that have altered the plan God set in motion.  Pride is not something that comes to mind when I reflect on those days.  But even so, it’s still God’s plan and He is still in control.

I’ve now heard, on two separate occasions — back to back, the story of Sampson.  I do not believe in coincidence — knowing full well, God has something for me to learn from this man.  It’s funny in that I recall a few months ago, while thinking through a number of old testament characters, that I didn’t know much about Sampson — except of his strength.  But now that has changed.

A man of great strength indeed, but more importantly, a man with God’s purpose imprinted on him from birth.  Informed by an angel from God, his mother was told of Sampson’s purpose:  to follow God in three ways, to one day freeing the people of Israel.  Sampson was to consume no alcohol — to stay pure on the inside.  Sampson was to never cut his hair — to be recognizably different, set apart.  Sampson was to never touch anything dead — to exercise obedience and self-control.

Sampson was given a great responsibility by God, like none other.  He was chosen to be the one that would free the Israelites from the Philistines.  He had a special purpose.  But he often mocked this and wasn’t willing to carry God’s glory.  All about himself, he lost sight of his purpose.  And with that, he lost his strength — he lost everything, including his own eyes.

But God, because of His unending abundance of grace and mercy, listened to Sampson’s voice in his final hours.  And God restored His strength, freeing the Israelites and fulfilling His purpose.

God wants me to carry His glory every day.  By guarding my mind and keeping my heart pure on the inside.  By becoming noticeably different to others and living a life that is set-apart.  By choosing each day whom I will serve through obedience and self-control.

Lord Jesus, I’m gonna be honest and say that carrying your glory seems like a lot to carry.  In fact, the devil wants me to think I can’t carry it at all — that it’s too much to measure up to.  But I know that your word says your yoke is easy and your burden is light!  My purpose is to be holy!  It’s a good thing it’s not tied to feeling because I’m not feeling very holy.  But your Truth is clear, I am holy because of Christ in me!  Continue to guard my mind and heart, protect me from the lies of the things I see as I continue to be who I am!  May my actions, responses and behavior reflect that of a child of the King! And may your Helper, the Holy Spirit, nudge my spirit and extend the strength I need to be obedient to you in all things.

Finally, brothers [Glory Carriers], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

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The Pit and Peace

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Isaiah 26:3

I pulled up to the curb and said my goodbye’s as my boys replied with “I love you, dad!”  Slinging their backpacks over their shoulders they made their way to the sidewalk and began the journey of their day in middle school . . . but not before looking back at dad one last time.  They’re gone and now the car is quiet with the faint sound of the radio in the background and the warmth of the sun beating against my chest and with it, my self is unsettled.

It’s a pretty long ride home each morning from drop-off, about 30 minutes.  And, while on a normal day I would sing with the radio, talk to God about what my life looks like right now or pray for others and myself — today was a bit different.  Quiet with an occasional honking horn here or there, it was a rather mesmerizing ride.  I could tell I was losing my footing and slipping into the pit.

I got home and opened the front door to further silence.  I was all alone now.  But this wasn’t the first day I’ve walked into a quiet house.  And nor will it be my last.  I had decided earlier that  I wasn’t going to write anything in this blog today, but instead just move on with my day.  I grabbed my computer, a cup of coffee with my bible and sat in my chair . . . and the lump in my throat grew and tears began to flow down my cheek.

Why am I here, God?  Why?  Why do I feel this way?  I asked Him question after question — He promised me peace and I feel like I’m in the pit!  My world is upside down, my heart is racing and I feel like a basket-case.  It certainly doesn’t appear very peaceful in my life right now as my hands tremble and my thoughts are so mixed.

And then, I ran across the words of Isaiah 26.  It was though He said to me, “Mark . . . What are you setting your mind on?  What is your heart and mind dwelling on?”

Oh how I’ve thought His peace to be unconditional, but this is not His promise.  He wants me to not only remain in Him, but to set my mind to Him.  It is then He gives peace.  I weep with His presence.

How can I be so hard-headed and stubborn?  I always felt like peace came in the absence of troubles, but God says no to that.  He offers peace in the midst of troubles, in the midst of pain and hurt, in the midst of grief — and through His peace is healing!  Why?  Because our minds are set on Him — trusting and leaning with our full weight on Him alone.

Lord Jesus, I know . . . I know — trust you!  But, man, that’s so hard to do sometimes!!!  That’s me being honest!  When I stare at the dot in front of me and focus through my flesh on circumstances around me and neglect to witness your hand in the big picture of what you are doing in and through me, I experience the pit instead of your peace.  Create in me a discipline in my mind to be more steadfast in you!

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.  Isaiah 26:4

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Blind Faith Begs

“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”  Mark 10:52

It’s a tough life to understand.  We see them everywhere we go — in the city, in the suburbs, at train stations, bus stations — pretty much any place where crowds gather you’ll find a beggar.  Someone who resorts to asking others to meet their needs.  Often it’s requesting money or food, but sometimes it’s for things like a warm blanket or cigarettes.  Never, though, have I ever seen someone ask for healing.  Nor have I seen a beggar shunned and lowered by disrespect.  But that’s not the case with Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus has begged his entire life on the streets, blind, listening for the Messiah.  Bartimaeus had a blind faith that one day he would see.  He waited.  Until that day, as an adult, he heard a crowd leaving the city.  His ears heard, his heart knew the sound of his Master’s voice!  Discouraged at the chance of missing this opportunity he desperately made himself known.  He screamed, made quite the ruckus.  So much so that many in the crowd rebuked him and told him to be quiet.

Jesus heard his passion, saw his devotion and knew his heart.  Stopping and turning, Jesus asked the beggar what he wanted him to do for him.  And without a hesitation he calls him, “Teacher, I want to see!”

It was at that moment, Bartimaeus cast his eyes for the first time upon something — the face of the Savior — and saw!  And, without question, he followed Jesus out of the city!  Followed Him!

My Lord, begging has never been something strongly favored in my eyes.  But Bartimaeus’ life was filled with the faith, through begging, that leads to transformation!  While I know you intercede to the Father on my behalf, I also pray that my heart will see what my eyes cannot, trusting in the powerful transforming cocoon of waiting.

By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.  Acts 3:16

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Courage Of Birth

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.”  Then the angel left her.  Luke 1:38

I’m not pregnant — can’t be really.  There’s a reason God designed women to bear children and men to faint while it happens.  There is an indescribable strength in women with which men simply cannot compare.  It is truly remarkable.  It engages a level of courage, as Mary quickly resolved, that requires a level of letting go and marvels the most humble.

And while us men can’t bear children (Thank heavens!!), there is another seed planted deep within all of us . . . waiting to be nurtured, waiting for birth.  Is there courage?  Courage happens when I let go and step onto the ledge of life, away from security.  While thinking about this concept I couldn’t help but be reminded of Little Nemo.  I know, silly, but I’ve watched it a hundred times I think.  Remember the scene . . . Nemo is with his friends, scurrying around the reef when suddenly they reach the edge.  They express the danger of leaving the reef, open waters are not safe.  But Nemo disregards the danger and swims to touch the “butt” — boat.  Nemo let go and swam away from security.  Courage!

That seed within me has been planted in the womb of my heart.  It remains there unstirred until God is awakened within that place where my gentle uprooting occurs.  And as that seed grows through true fellowship with Him, it feeds the soul and begins to birth the spirit of the man God designed.  Do I fully understand or have I fully given of the womb of my own heart?  Have I prepared that place of darkness, discomfort and true surrender required to give full birth to the Christ-self within me?  Is it possible this is what Peter meant when he wrote in II Peter 1:4, “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature . . . “?

The courage of birth is a miracle in itself, but where there is such courage there lies the recipe for being and becoming possible.  It takes courage to step into that place where change resides.  It takes courage to step into that chrysalis.

Here is a simple prayer from a favorite author:

To be fully human, fully myself,
To accept all that I am, all that you envision,
This is my prayer.
Walk with me out to the rim of life,
Beyond security.
Take me to the exquisite edge of courage
And release me to become.

Jesus looked at him and loved him, “One thing you lack,” he said.  “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  Mark 10:21

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