Speaking of our financial situation, here's a funny and painful little story. So, I got our family on WIC the other day. It's a small way to get some basic nutritional needs met for struggling families who have children under 5 like bread, milk, cheese, eggs, juice, cereal, and a small amount of fruit/vegetables. Well, I thought I was totally okay with this. I mean, it's just a little help, right? Well, I was wrong. The first time I went to the grocery store with my voucher for these items, I thought I did everything right (wic is very specific, unlike food stamps where any food item is acceptable). Well, because of a special sale on half gallons of name brand milk, I realized, much to my dismay, that I hadn't gotten the cheapest type of milk. So, they had to go to the back of the store to right my wrong as I waited. The front of the store was packed (did I mention it's the nicest grocery store in our area?!?) and as the lady checking neared the front of the store, the teenager helping me called to her:
"Is that the cheapest milk?"
"IS THAT THE CHEAPEST MILK?!?"I seriously wanted to crawl into a hole. So much for being okay with some public assistance.... And one more small chance for me to learn humility.
The biggest area by far where God has been growing me in humility, though, is with the way we've been hurt by the church. I think this is the hardest thing, as well as where God wants to do the most work. In light of this, I picked up a book that had been sent to Karl by his old friend Dwight Robertson at Kingdom Building Ministries in 1999 after Karl witnessed a church split. It is entitled A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness by Gene Edwards. I read it all the way through that day. Powerful, powerful stuff. Here's a quote that stood out to me:
"David....seemed to grasp a deep understanding of the unfolding drama in which he had been caught. He seemed to understand something that few of even the wisest men of his day understood. Something which even in our day, when men are wiser still, fewer understand.
And what was that?
God did not have, but wanted very much to have, men who would live in pain.
God wanted a broken vessel."
This is not the kind of stuff that makes for fun reading...or fun living, for that matter. But it is what God desires of us. It is what I've been praying for. And, by the grace of God, it is what we will learn in this continued time of waiting and seeking God.