In the middle of the valley of Guadalupe just north of Ensenada Mexico is the church of Tierra Santa. We have been going to this location for many years to stand alongside of Alejandro and his congregation. Upon arriving, high school students tumbled out of the large dusty white vans and began to unload the trailer of supplies and what seemed like thousands of sleeping bags.
Soon it was time for the evening message and worship. My husband asked if I could walk down to the house and retrieve a bag that had been left in the trailer. He warned me that opening and closing the trailer was difficult and maybe I should have someone come with me to help. I proudly exclaimed, “I got it!”
He handed me the keys and a flashlight and I went alone. I was grateful for a few moments away from the hustle and bustle of the students and briskly set off down the dirt road. Behind the Pastor’s house in the dark was the large white equipment trailer.
Reaching up on my tiptoes, I unlocked the large metal door at the back of the trailer. As I pulled the door down it became a ramp. “That was remarkably easy,” I proudly thought to myself! Shining the flashlight into the back of the trailer, I quickly found the bag and walked out.
This is when the fun began! The door that had so easily opened was now a formidable opponent! It felt as though a thousand pounds was pushing against me! I tried all sorts of creative ways to get that door closed. First, I tried pushing it up halfway and then quickly getting my back under it, but I didn’t have enough strength to close it. After that I climbed up on the bumper and slowly pulled the heavy metal door up, but that ended with me falling off the trailer and landing in the dirt.
While lying in the dirt, pondering what I might do, it occurred to me that I had only two options:
(1) I could leave the trailer open with the contents vulnerable to theft and walk back to tell my husband that I was unable to complete my task, or
(2) I could figure out another way to close it.
Clearly failure was not an option after my bold declaration of “I got it!” At that moment a new thought arose, “use a rope to pull it closed.” Somehow those science classes came rushing back to me and I remembered how to construct a pulley system. MacGyver has nothing on me!
I strutted to the church, bag in hand, ready to proudly deliver it to my husband. As my moment to gloat became closer I was convicted and realized that my husband had simply been looking out for me and it was my pride that blinded me. Getting the bag would have been less of an ordeal if only I would have just heeded his advice to take help.
Scripture warns us over and over again about pride.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Here are my lessons:
1. We have a hard time loving when we focus on ourselves. If I would have seen my husband’s desire to take care of me, instead of thinking that he saw me as weak, the trailer wouldn’t have been so difficult.
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground? Obadiah 1:3
2. We have a hard time loving when we think that we are all sufficient. God has created us to need others. My desire to do it by myself clearly missed the mark.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. Psalm 10:3-4
3. We have a hard time loving when we leave God out of the picture. I don’t recall asking God for help during this entire process. Yes, I pretty much tried to do it by myself.
Marriage is difficult enough, don’t let pride be a relationship killer.
• When you are tempted to focus on yourself, remember that pride is a relationship killer.
• When you think that you don’t need anyone’s help, remember that pride is a relationship killer.
• When you think that you can do it without God, remember that pride is a relationship killer.
Question: How does pride affect your relationship with your spouse?
Jan Cobb has been married 28 years and 22 of those years have been shared in Student Ministry! She has two daughters and is the co-teaching leader for The Journey Bible study. Her blog can be found at http://thereflectionofhim.blogspot.com/