October 13, 2009
My Savior, a Worm?
"But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people."
Psalms 22:6 (NIV)
One of my favorite books is Roy Hession's Calvary Road. In the last few days, one of my most oft-read passages from this book has come to mind. Probably because of the current state of my heart.
Here's the context: I'm struggling right now. My emotions are raw. My responses are harsh. My patience is tested. I am tired. Relationships that should bring comfort bring conflict and criticism. My flesh wants to plead my innocence and maintain my right to be annoyed. My will protests the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I will not bend "the proud, stiff-necked I," as Hession would say.
In Calvary Road, he writes a lot about brokenness. In my regularly-visited passage I'm asked to consider Christ:
"For this reason we are not likely to be broken except at the cross of Jesus. The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is the all-compelling motive in our being broken too. We see Him willing to have not rights of His own, willing to let men revile Him and not revile again, willing to let men tread on Him and not retaliate or defend Himself. Above all, we see Him broken as He meekly goes to Calvary to become men's scapegoat by bearing their sins in His own body on the Tree. In a pathetic passage in a prophetic psalm, He says, ‘I am a worm, and no man' (Psalm 22:6).
Those who have been in tropical lands tell us that there is a big difference between a snake and a worm, when you attempt to strike at them. The snake rears itself up and hisses and tries to strike back—a true picture of self. But a worm offers no resistance, it allows you to do what you like with it, kick it or squash it under your heel—a picture of true brokenness. And Jesus was willing to become just that for us—a worm and no man."
I am not fond of this passage. I prefer to think of Jesus as valiant, mighty and strong, even in death. In my struggle with picturing my crowned King as a worm, I argued with God about the accuracy of such a portrayal of Jesus. I protested. Surely Hession had overstepped and not balanced the greater message of the Word that ascribes Jesus the glory, honor and power due His Name.
In the midst of defending my Savior, the Risen One interrupted my thoughts and asked my heart: Do you defend My character or your arrogance? My darling daughter you rail against the idea of Me as a selfless worm while resting on My provision as a spotless lamb. Is it because you hate the idea that I ask you to be just as selfless, just as broken?
It was true. I don't hate the idea that Jesus is likened to a worm; I hate the conviction that I must submit like one as well. This dialogue with the Lord occurred nearly nine years ago during my first reading of Calvary Road. The Spirit brought it to my mind again today. So if you'll excuse me I've got to go dig out my copy and walk the path of brokenness. It's time to bend that "proud, stiff-necked I."
Father, forgive me for pleading my rights and innocence. I don't have rights, and I am certainly not innocent. Show me how to silence my mouth and soften my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Find peace in everyday life here!
All I Need is Jesus & a Good Pair of Jeans by Susanna Foth Aughtmon
Think about one person in your life who would benefit by seeing you not strike back. Make a plan to minister to that individual today.
Think about the difficult relationships in your life. Is your pride making these relationships more strained?
What would a worm-like reaction be to those who frustrate you?
James 4:6-7, "But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (ESV)
© 2009 by Whitney Capps. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105