Jane Korvemaker reflects on the irony that when she humbly admits she doesn’t control the outcome, she can best give glory to God.
I’ve found that the lowest times in my life have concurrently been my most faith-filled. Have you experienced this too? When all things seem to be swiftly rolling into a pit of muck, I realize with utmost clarity that I am really not in control of things, nor can I control everything, and there is no one in whom I can turn except Jesus.
In a move exceptionally ironic to our world, when it would seem that I should have no cause to call out in trust in a deity, I throw myself into Jesus’ arms in pain, hurt, sadness, and an overarching belief that there is nothing I can do to improve the current state of the matter. And yet, this is exactly what is needed to improve the current state of the matter. That is, my heart.
Sometimes I feel bad when it seems I only do this when things go wrong. Yet, when all is going wrong and I do throw myself into the embrace of infinite mercy, this moment helps transform me. My human nature then becomes properly oriented to God. These are key experiences that shape all of us into who we are meant to be in relation to God.
I have a tendency to forget this absolute dependence on God in my daily life. In the first pandemic year, at the end of the semester before Christmas, I found myself in a stress-inducing and anxiety-ridden situation regarding my school work. How had the deadlines for my finals crept up so fast? I had managed to set myself up for failure: Friday I had a major term paper due. Tuesday I had an oral final exam. Wednesday and Thursday I was driving solo with my three kids on a two-day journey to my mother’s house for Christmas, and Friday I had another take-home final due. I had not given myself time beforehand to prepare for the oral exam and I had no time to physically write the last final because I would be driving.
I responded in the only way I knew how. I took to prayer. I said, “Dear God, I am convinced You put me on this path in academics. You know that I have ADHD and I have great troubles figuring out time and deadlines. If You put me here to succeed, this is on You to make it work somehow. If You put me here to learn humility, I will try to learn it. I can do nothing at this point except what I have the time to do, but whatever happens, I will still praise You for it.” That last part was a struggle to pray, but sometimes proclaiming it can turn my heart.
Would you know, my mother called me that night and said, “Honey, you can’t come. The province has closed the borders to prevent spread of the virus.” In this instance, I could have saved myself the anxiety if I had the humility to accept I might fail but God is still good.
This past semester, I found myself in another anxiety-ridden situation, this time caused by my family being out-of-commission for two weeks with Covid. In the hectic weeks prior to the end of semester I realized there was no way I could finish the work in time. I turned to the same prayer as before. This time, there were no days miraculously given to me; I had to humble myself and submit requests for extensions beyond the semester. In both instances, humility, trust, and obedience have been a saving grace, as they offer a humble reflection that this is not in fact my work. It is God’s, and He is good whether I succeed or fail.
When I can humble myself and accept humiliation (or the possibility of humiliation) and turn my face to Christ, whether in anxiety or in joy, I can truly become the image and likeness of Him Whom I love. When any of us do this, we reflect God’s glory back to Him—and it is for this that we were made.
If you find yourself feeling shame that it seems only when things go wrong that you reach out to God, do not let your heart be troubled. It is in these moments that we can admit to our finite nature and our need for God. God is faithful to His promise to love us. The more we can humbly proclaim that it is God who orders all things in our life, whether in sickness or in health, the stronger we grow in reflecting His glory. It’s all baby steps (which includes falling!) into His loving embrace, and as Mary proclaimed: My soul gives glory to the Lord.
Copyright 2022 Jane Korvemaker
About the Author
Jane Korvemaker loves food, family, wine, and God (perhaps not in that order). She holds a Certificate in Culinary Arts, which pairs perfectly with her Bachelor in Theology. A former Coordinator of Youth Ministry, she writes from the beautiful and cold province of Saskatchewan, Canada. She works from home and takes care of her three very hard-working children. Jane regularly blogs at AJK2.ca.