Trust in Him

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blessed Are The Meek

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)

The word "meek" indicates patience, long suffering, humility, mildness, submissiveness, and so forth. Of course this applies directly to bearing the trials inflicted on us by others, but it also applies to how we view ourselves. One who has self-understanding will find that it is harder to bear his own weaknesses than to bear all the evils that may be inflicted upon him. Why is this? Because we are much more sensitive to things that affect our identity, temporally or spiritually, and most people need a certain self-respect to survive with themselves. When Jesus said "blessed are the meek" He spoke a personal characteristic which views both interior weakness and external conflict with similar patience and acceptance.

Many times we bewail our lives because we are weak and full of faults. We feel that we should be strong, we should be more, and the fact that we are not is not easy to accept. However, God makes use of our human weaknesses to bring us close to Him. If we are not strong enough to save ourselves, He saves us. If we are not good enough to sin no more, His mercy grants us the strength to grow better and the consolation of forgiveness. In this way we are blessed, as children are blessed by a tender father, because we ourselves are unable to achieve perfection.

What are some of the ways in which these weaknesses reveal themselves? To a closed heart the shortcomings of one's own person are not easy to recognize, and the heart must be opened to this realization before our weaknesses and faults can be made clear to us. Perhaps it could be said that the bane of personal humility and understanding is the concentration on the faults and good points of others. The more we view others, the more we will either detest ourselves or fall into denial concerning our faults. Here, meekness can be directly applied, for if we mildly accept that we are less than our fellow men and patiently pray and work towards better then we will find ourselves more comfortable with their attributes.

Many times our weaknesses and faults show themselves in our failure or in our sin. I doubt that I am the first to break a promise that I have made because I am too tired or frail in mind or body to persevere in it. Likewise, I am not the first to sin immediately after I have promised never to sin again. However, meekness of heart will not cause us to forget our faults... but it will cause us instead to accept them and come to the realization of more and more faults in ourselves. So, if we are in the habit of accepting our faults, viewing ourselves with due humility, and patiently bearing our weaknesses, how can we continue to fight the battle for good? How do we resist becoming subjected to sin in our efforts to please God?

One who has obtained meekness of spirit has an intense reliance on God... and this is what makes his meekness holy! He recognizes his own faults because God is good. He accepts his own lack of strength because God is strong. He looks at his neighbor with a non-judgmental air because God loves all equally and absolutely. He admits he cannot win the battle, but continues the fight because he trusts that God can and will help him.

But why does Jesus say "blessed are the meek"? Well, certainly meekness is a virtue, but meekness also grants us many blessings. First of all, let's face it, we are NOT strong... meekness disposes us to put our strength in the Lord, and this strength is a strength capable of the greatest heroism. Meekness also makes us more humble, builds our trust, and gives us a more perfect confidence that understands our weaknesses and then redefines them through God. For instance, if we are proud, we can become confident in our humility by recognizing this pride and praying daily with faith that Christ will grant us true humility and accept our good intent. If we are afraid, then we can recognize this fear and become confident in our trusting prayer that God will make us strong when necessary and never give us more pain than we can bear. But perhaps the most important grace received through meekness of heart is the motive, the desire, the purpose to become better than we are. By viewing our faults in true humility we can set out to reach perfection with a determination rooted in our faith in God's assistance. Meekness of heart does not lead to cowardliness, but to heroism.

Therefore, we must remember that meekness is a disposition of the soul. It accepts what it is and puts its trust in God. Whether this reveals itself in our own spirituality or in our patience when others maltreat us, meekness of heart links directly to trust in the Lord. When Jesus said "blessed are the meek," He did not mean blessed are the cowardly... He meant blessed are those who are non-confrontational, blessed are those who are not proud, blessed are those who are patient and persevering, blessed are those who accept God as their stronghold, blessed are those who who suffer much and are not broken, blessed are those who do not seek to return injury for injury, blessed are those who forgive, blessed are those who see their own weaknesses and are not discouraged because they trust that God will save them, and blessed are they who imitate the patient suffering of Christ without hate or disgust. Truly, meekness is a heroic quality, and is rewarded greatly by God.

Riding slowly beneath the woolen clouds,
Her cloak was long and gray.

She did not attempt to sit up high,
But settled on her steed.

So small, petite, and soaked with rain,
Her countenance showed no pain.

Out of the dark of that cold night,

A dragon was clearly formed.

She had no sword, no strength of arm,
But she was not afraid.
So weak and small, yet undeterred,
She faithfully stood her ground.
The dragon came, on her he laid,

A claw with evil intent.

Gently, she closed her eyes,

And turned her face away.

She knew He'd come, He always came,
Her knight in golden array.
She viewed herself, her smallish form,

And the dragon's wicked gaze.

She was meekness, the dragon sin,

The Knight bore Christ's Name.

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