I was having a pity party while driving down the interstate. Tears pricked my eyes and a depressing song was playing on the radio. I was on my way to have tests ran for health issues I was experiencing. These tests were not going to be fun, they were taking up precious time I needed for other things, and the whole situation placed me in a state of worry as I imagined what the results of these tests could be.
My heart was troubled. I meditated on complaints and problems, fueling the pity party I was hosting on I-65.
But I was then gripped with conviction. You see, I have been praying for God to reveal to me what it means to be humble in all areas of my life (You can read about that here). And somewhere between exit 38 and 26, the Holy Spirit reminded me a pity party was not humble. A pity party creates a hardened heart toward our circumstances and distances us from God’s voice and direction.
I was grateful God was showing me my current attitude was not one of humbleness, but what then did humble look like in this situation? There was no denying the facts. These tests would not be enjoyable. They were going to take time I would rather be spending on other things. And their results could change the direction of my life. How could I be humble in the driver’s side of my vehicle when the truth was painful, irritating, and upsetting?
I pondered the question for a few miles and then took action.
First, I knew Psalm 95 says a posture of humility means worshipping God and acknowledging He is all knowing and powerful. My depressing secular tunes in the car were the opposite of this. I immediately switched the radio to a Christian station. I needed to worship Him to retain humbleness.
I then prayed for humbleness. I prayed God would take me back to a humble heart right then and there. I asked for healing and reassurance, but also told Him I knew He was in control no matter my circumstances (Jeremiah 29:11).
I realized the vehicles around me had no idea what was happening in my own SUV. They were clueless I had gone from a pity party to a posture of worship in mere minutes. No other drivers knew what I was on my way to face. But I had no idea what they were driving off to face either. Perhaps the tired woman in the Honda was on her way to marriage counseling as she cruised the slow lane. Maybe the grieving man in the Ford was speeding to a funeral. The nervous college student passing me in the Nissan might be going to take an exam that will determine the future of her career.
I was so focused on my own troubles, I never thought about the struggles of those I was sharing the road with. Could that be how we too often lead our lives?
We worry and complain about our own problems, missing the difficult situations others around us could be experiencing as well. This is certainly not the way Jesus lived His life, and it’s not how He wants us living ours.
I stopped praying for myself and began praying for the drivers around me. I didn’t know them or their circumstances, but I prayed for them. And as I prayed, each prayer made me more humble. My heart more soft. I was more of how God wants me to be.
By the time I reached the medical facility the tests would be performed at, God had changed me. Worship replaced worry. Contentment replaced complaints. And humbleness replaced hardness in my heart.
I can’t say I will never have another pity party again. Old habits die hard. But as I keep seeking to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8), I know He promises to guide and direct me as He did on I-65 (Psalm 25:9).
Friend, I just want to encourage you.
If you are finding yourself hosting a pity party…
If a situation is seeking to make you focus on yourself and no one else…
If a situation is stealing your humble and hardening your heart…
If a situation is making you forget God’s promises…
You are not alone. I have been there too.
But I pray we instead invite the Holy Spirit to convict us. I pray we recognize our own pity parties and stop them. I pray we focus less on ourselves and more on those we share the road of life with. When we do these things, we are seeking humbleness. If we will only seek, God will do the rest.