Monday, January 28, 2008

Jacob’s Lesson on Humility

Karen and I used to watch Extreme House Makeover on a weekly basis. Karen would always say, “It’s amazing what they do, but I never want them to come to my house…. that means something terrible has happened in your life.” Have you ever watched that show and felt somewhat jealous? I’ll admit it… I have. Who doesn’t want a 52” flat screen TV in every room of a fabulous new home? This past week has shown me that not only would I never want something like that, but that I couldn’t handle it either.
Jacob has taught me a lesson this week about pride. I’ve always been a do it yourselfer – the kind of person who would do everything himself because he doesn’t feel he can rely on anyone else to do it right. Sure I trust in God…. But mostly God working through me to provide for our family and take care of our needs! Early on we decided that I would stay home with our family during the unknown limited amount of time that we have with Jacob. By doing so, we eliminated the one source of income our family survives on. This is where God used Jacob to not only teach me more about humility but also to show us Who the true provider for our family is.
We’ve been truly amazed and blessed by the amount of people who understand our situation and have called, stopped by or contacted us and let us know that they want to be involved in Jacob’s time here on earth. We’ve had two different photographers volunteer their services to come to the house for photo shoots with Jacob and our family (some of which you can see on the new blog that Jacob has setup - found at the bottom of this email – absolutely beautiful!). Our church family has frequently visited our home with gifts, cards, prayers and meals. Churches from around the area and our previous homes have contacted us and provided support. Family members and friends have flown in from Texas and Florida and driven in from Rochester and Binghamton to spend time with our little guy. Karen’s home schooling group has started taking a collection to help with expenses and has volunteered to help with meals for the next month! And even the people at GEICO, when they found out about Jacob, organized and opened an account for people to donate to and also setup fundraising bake sales to help support our family!
As a “self-sufficient” person, one of the hardest things for me to do was to walk into the GEICO credit union to fill out some papers so that people could give me money. Heading home from that experience I started to realize that humility is best understood when you have nothing else but God to rely on. It is in this experience that I more fully understood how the body of Christ works. In order for some to use their gifts, others must have needs. As a youth pastor I was used to focusing on using my gifts to meet other’s needs. This time around, God made us have need so that others could come along side and minister to us.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ…Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don't need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don't need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
It is only with this understanding that we can rejoice in our hour of pain and need, because we can see that it provides opportunity for God to be glorified through the use of the gifts that He has given to others. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Of course, being the prideful person that I am, I’m already trying to think of ways to repay all the kindness that we have received. The truth is that there is no way that I could ever even know, much less return, the hours of prayer, concern, service, and love that each of you has invested into our family’s lives. It must remain a gift.
The truth is I’m probably not much different than so many of us. When it comes to spiritual things we all try to be do-it-yourselfers at times. Instead of acknowledging our need and allowing Jesus to meet that need, we attempt to figure it out on our own because we refuse to swallow our pride. We know that Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” and yet we think we can earn or deserve God’s love. Other times we think, “God has done so much for me, I must in return do so much for Him,” and we attempt to pay back God’s gift of mercy and grace with imperfect sacrifices that don’t come near to adequately understanding the gift He has given to us.
Jacob has taught me this week to be humble enough to recognize when I have a need and to allow God to meet that need through His provision. Our prayer for you is that God give you the wisdom to recognize where you have a need and the humility to allow Him to meet that need through His Son.

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6)

May God Bless You As You Seek Him
The Fahmers – Jason, Karen, Joshua, Jonathan and Jacob


Brandon Jones said...

Hello Jason,

Thanks for sharing this with others. I'll be praying for you.

Brandon Jones

Anonymous said...

Hello Jason and family,
I have been humbled and blessed by what you have shared. Maybe if you think way back you would remember Alyssa Seybert Hall's were an encouragement to me when Alyssa had her open heart surgery at Buffalo Childrens Hospital back several years ago. We are praying for you here in Portville and will stay posted.
God Bless
Annette Seybert

Michelle said...

As I'm reading I'm learning more about God, being reminded of truthes I've forgotten and realising what and intimate God we serve.