We Must Be Awfully Small and Not as Strong as We Think We Are

By Rebecca Colson, CBM National Intern-

This line from a song by Rich Mullins came to my mind while working as a counselor at camp. I had noticed some things that the other counselors had been doing that I thought they ought to be doing differently. With all my expertise and wisdom on the matter, I pointed it out to the counselors. After I did, one of them, a junior counselor a good 7 years younger than me, politely asked, “How many times have you been a summer counselor before?”  I paused for a moment before replying, “Once.”

While she was a good deal younger than me, this girl had far more camp counseling experience than I had. She reassured me about the situation and we went on with our lives. But, after that brief conversation, God brought to light the pride that had been growing in my heart. Then this simple line of a song came to my mind, “We must be awfully small and not as strong as we think we are.”

I thought this line was pretty true of myself. When I thought about this, I wasn’t beating myself up. Often, when I make mistakes, I’ve struggled with feeling like a failure. It’s funny how pride and insecurity are two sides of the same coin. Both come from an incorrect view of ourselves; from finding our value and identity in something or someone other than God. Without realizing it, I had become prideful.  And that puffed up image of myself had made me bitter towards other counselors when they didn’t perform how I wanted them to. But I’m no super-counselor. I’m not the worst, certainly, but I’m definitely not perfect. When I do things right, when my actions go above and beyond what is expected of me, it is not from my own strength and wisdom but from God’s.

I am awfully small and not as strong as I think I am. But I don’t have to be anything else. God gives me the patience I need to care for stubborn campers, the emotional energy to listen to them when I’m running on little sleep, the joy to keep on going when it’s difficult. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

After God humbled me, I didn’t feel small and weak, I felt grateful—so very grateful he didn’t let my head keep swelling. I’m so very grateful he continues to teach me and guide me.

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ ” (1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

Edited by CBM National

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