I have been blessed to be spending a few days with Heidi Baker, listening to the stories of years of hard work and love laid down. I’m humbled. Honored. Moved beyond words. Undone by the faithful surrender.
And I’m challenged. Because it’s impossible to be near this woman without reflecting on what love looks like in my life. Next to this world changer, it’s easy to feel inadequate. She has accomplished great things wordwide. What do I have to show for my life?
(She would hate hearing me say this, but bear with me! This is not a case of false humility or a fishing expedition for compliments! Keep on reading.)
When facing someone else’s greatness, people seem to respond in one of two ways. Either they put someone on a pedestal and worship the very ground they walk on. Or, they start making accusations to make themselves feel better.
Why is that? Does it make the greatness of others easier to cope with? Do they feel less inferior by making their object of secret admiration, smaller?
What is greatness?
I’m sure that special skill sets or exceptional features may seem very impressive. But to me, greatness is a big God in a small vessel.
I’ve seen people respond to the greatness of God in various ways. Some embrace the God who is full of wonders, while others kick and scream at the living God, claiming He’s too demanding, too strict, too holy.
What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us?
But he’s not. And you wouldn’t want him to be.
Likewise, you won’t become any greater by bringing others down.
Coming alongside greatness is an honor, even though it hurts a little to face your own incompetence. It’s good to feel inadequate. After all, if I’m only doing what I feel equipped to do, I leave very little room for the God of wonders to work through me. I don’t mind being a small vessel if only he shines through me. As I diminish I allow for Jesus to increase in my life. Or as John puts it:
This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.
(John 3:30, MSG)
True humility is realizing what I am, as well as what I am not.
Or in the words of C. S. Lewis:
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
To recognize the greatness of others increases my own longing for more of God. Hearing Heidi speak of lives changed, bodies restored and tummies filled, makes my heart sing and my spirit soar. It renews my hope and fuels my prayers. I yearn to see more, to hear more, to lean in closer. I grow anxious to see his Kingdom come and his will be done. And little by little, I yield to the One who is worthy.
Her greatness calls out the laid down lover in anyone who is longing for more of God.
Allow yourself to be inspired by greatness.
Not intimidated nor annoyed.
Acknowledging the greatness in others will cause your own vision to grow, increasing your longing and bringing you closer to your God-given destiny.
Isn’t that what you want?