October 14 – Holding On – To Humility

Read 1 Peter 5:1-11

George Matheson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the eldest of eight children. He was partially blind as a boy and, by the age of 17, became completely blind. He lived his life in humility – freedom from pride and arrogance.

When George’s fiancée learned that he was going blind and that there was nothing the doctors could do, she told him that she could never marry a blind man. She dropped him like a stone dropped into a pond. This humble man was brokenhearted and never did get married.

George was helped by a devoted sister throughout his ministry. She learned Greek, Latin and Hebrew in order to aid him in his studies.

She learned three languages to assist her brother!

Despite his blindness, Matheson had a brilliant career at Glasgow Academy, The University of Glasgow and The Church of Scotland Seminary. When he was forty years old, something interesting happened – his sister got married. Not only did this mean that he lost her companionship, it also brought a fresh reminder of his own heartbreak. In the midst of this intense sadness, on the eve of his sister’s marriage, he wrote a humble hymn – one that would become a great hymn – “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”. He completed the whole work in five minutes and never edited, corrected or retouched it. “This came like a dayspring from on high,” he wrote.

“O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain,

That morn shall tearless be.”

It was through the deep trials of illness and desertion that George Matheson had come to place all his trust and hope in the love of God in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Troubles are part of life. Life humbles everyone. How do you respond to trouble? Jesus faced trouble and so did the apostles and many others. However, as Matheson’s hymn beautifully says, “troubles do not have the last word”.

Life humbles everyone. How do we respond?

Peter wrote:

“Clothe yourselves with humility.”

The writer of these words, Peter, had been with Jesus throughout his ministry and witnessed all of it, including the climactic events of his suffering (see Mark 14:54). Peter was also present at the transfiguration (see Matthew 16:27). He should know about humility because he saw it modeled in person by Jesus. He goes on:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that at the right time he may lift you up. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”1 Peter 5:6-7

You can begin to clothe yourself with humility by getting rid of worthless idols that you may cling to. How do you spend your time? Don’t lose out on what God wants to do in your life.

Your predicament is never too difficult for God.

Tom Weckesser

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