Music is one of the most common things people resort to for relaxation. I am thankful to live in a place that is blessed with music, arts and culture, including a world-renowned symphony orchestra. Last weekend, I was delighted to hear them perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini Op 43. Of the 24 variations, my favorite is and will always be variation #18 where the music
shifts to a flowing gentle melody – a transition that is very noticeable because of its almost song-like quality, very different from the 2 variations that preceded it. Listening to this tune (which has been popularized in an old Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour movie) magnificently played by a phenomenal orchestra, was quite therapeutic.
But my blog today is not about music. For months now, God has been impressing upon me the value of meekness and how much I have yet to grow in the image and character of Christ, specifically with regard to this heart issue. So why did I start my writing with Rachmaninoff? Because like variation #18, meekness is a soothing balm in a world that is badly hurting with pride.
What does it mean to be meek? The synonyms of the word meek are: gentle, submissive, soft, and yielding. In academia, (and many other fields), these are adjectives that are rarely used during job interviews. Indeed meekness stands in stark contrast to everything the world applauds. Society tells us that we are allowed, even encouraged, to be strong-willed, no matter what. Arrogance has become a right and meekness has been erroneously equated with weakness.
But meekness is in fact evidence of wisdom. Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:13 A person who is meek has come to understand his rightful place as a created being, before a powerful Creator. In his book Humility, Andrew Murray wrote: “Humility comes when we see how truly God is all.When the creature realizes that this is the true nobility, and consents to be with his mind, will, affections, the vessel in which the life and glory of God are to work and manifest themselves, he sees that humility is simply acknowledging the truth of man’s position as creature, and yielding to God his place.”
Consider our Lord Jesus Christ – who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
Meekness is only possible when we are united to him who sought no glory for himself (John 8:50). We begin to grasp it when we look at how Jesus submitted to the Father in everything. Meekness is a fruit borne out of the work of the Holy Spirit in us, often in the crucible of suffering. We cannot fabricate it, but like a garment that is already woven for us by the finished work of Christ, we must put it on and wear it constantly. He said Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matt 11:29 God not only values meekness. He rewards it. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. Psalm 37:11
Meekness brings about much needed rest for our souls. Aligning our hearts with that of Jesus – He who is gentle (meek) and lowly – leads to rest. Meekness acknowledges that all things come from our loving Father and therefore leaves no room for anxiety. Instead of engaging in a senseless power struggle with our Maker, meekness makes our hearts malleable in the hands of our Potter. Meekness not only upholds but furthermore finds comfort in the order set by God in relationships such as that between husband and wife (Ephesians 5). Meekness is not passive but actively submits in obedience to the will of Him whose ways and thoughts are higher than ours, allowing us to experience the greater good that He desires for His children, over the mediocrity of our human choices. Meekness is not a position of oppression. On the contrary, it leads to greater joy. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord..Isaiah 29:19 It is only when meekness becomes the constant melody in our hearts, that we can dance freely and joyfully with Christ our Bridegroom.
In the book In His Image, author and bible teacher Jen Wilkin wrote: “Fullness of joy results when we seek to reflect our Maker. It is what we were created to do. It is the very will of God for our lives.” May our lives become mirrors that reflect the meekness of Christ each day. There is not a melody that is more beautiful than His.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5