I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2
“Keep your hands behind your back. You’ll be fine.” That’s the loving admonition Jan’s husband always gave before she ventured off to speak to a group. When she found herself trying to impress people or seeking to control a situation, she’d adopt this posture because it put her in a teachable, listening frame of mind. She used it to remind herself to love those before her and to be humble and available to the Holy Spirit.
Jan’s understanding of humility is rooted in King David’s observation that everything comes from God. David said to God, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” (Psalm 16:2). He learned to trust God and seek His counsel: “Even at night my heart instructs me” (v. 7). He knew that with God next to him, he’d not be shaken (v. 8). He didn’t need to puff himself up because he trusted in the mighty God who loved him.
As we look to God each day, asking Him to help us when we feel frustrated or to give us words to speak when we feel tongue-tied, we’ll see Him at work in our lives. We’ll “partner with God,” as Jan says; and we’ll realize that if we’ve done well, it’s because God has helped us flourish.
We can look at others with love, our hands clasped behind our backs in a posture of humility to remind us that everything we have comes from God.
How do you feel when you place yourself in a humble posture before someone else? How could you depend on God to help you with the tasks before you today?
Creator God, You’ve created the world and all that’s within it, and yet You love me and want to use me for Your glory. Help me to look to You for help and strength.
Scholars believe David was on the run from Saul when he wrote Psalm 16. In 1 Samuel, we learn what he was going through at that time. He’d gained command of a band of misfits and possibly even outlaws (22:1–2). For a time, he stayed in a cave (v. 1) before going to a foreign “stronghold” (v. 4–5). Even his mother and father had to leave their home (vv. 3–4). Yet he wrote, “The boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” (Psalm 16:6). As a fugitive, how could he say such a thing? David’s faith was so strong that he was simultaneously confident of God’s deliverance from his present difficulties and certain of “a delightful inheritance” (v. 6) in the future. He knew that the kingship awaited him, but what he most anticipated was eternity with God (v. 11).