"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (2 Cor 12:9).
I was in Switzerland visiting an acquaintance I had met briefly almost ten years earlier at a Christian conference on the island of Cyprus. We had stayed in contact over the years as he had become a big fan of TGIF and had the devotions translated into German. I had felt led to make the trip from Germany, where we had been attending a conference.
I was sitting in the kitchen talking with my friend when I said, "You are different. There is a different spirit about you than when I met you ten years ago on the island of Cyprus. I have to admit, I thought you were a bit aloof," I confessed to him. "Hmm, you know Os, I thought the same about you." We both chuckled at our observations.
There was a difference in both of us because something dramatic had happened in both of our lives. My friend was a very successful businessman in Switzerland and was running a family business when things went very wrong. He lost millions as a result. Although his fortune was not totally wiped out, it impacted him greatly. It brought a humility and new found trust in God that had not been there before.
I had a similar story. I had gone through a seven year "pit experience" in which I had major loses in family, business and personal income. Now we were both on the other sides of our "pits." We could recognize something in each of us that had resulted from our experiences. There was a level of humility that was not there before. It reminded me of a statement a friend of mine made years earlier: "Beware of any Christian leader who does not walk with a limp." Sometimes God creates circumstances in our lives to create humility and greater dependence upon Him. It is because God works greater through weakness than strength.
I often tell others, "You can get humility voluntarily or involuntarily. It is much easier if you get it voluntarily."