I was a bitter clinger. My womb was barren. My marriage was rocky. The exile from our church hurt. I was resentful of those who blocked my chosen path and my hands held fast to my good plans. Frustrated and discontent, I huffed my way through the wilderness. I was not meek.
Then I Met Meekness
Then, one blustery morning, my huffing found me on the treadmill in the basement, doing what I did—tuned in to a podcast and jogging along.
But this morning was different.
The host quoted from a 300-year-old book by Matthew Henry,
It is for lack of meekness that we are so impatient of contradiction in our opinions, in our desires, in our designs.
That caught my attention. She quoted again:
Men’s reproaches are God’s rebukes, and whoever he be that affronts me, I must see and say that therein my Father corrects me.
My ears were burning now. People had mistreated me, but I’d never thought of that as a rebuke or some form of loving discipline and correction from God.
When the events of providence are grievous and afflictive, meekness not only quiets us under them but reconciles us to them, and enables us not only to bear but to receive evil as well as good at the hand of the Lord. It is to kiss the rod.
I slowed to a walk so I could take this in. Then the zinger, the clincher, the jaw-dropper came.
Such is the law of meekness that whatsoever pleases God must not displease us. Let Him do what He will, for He will do what is best, and therefore, if God should refer the matter to me, says the meek and quiet soul, being well assured that He knows what is good for me better than I do for myself, I would refer it to Him again.
I was breathless, and not because I had picked up my pace. No. Because, like a lightning bolt, it hit me, I needed meekness.
Patience, yes; endurance, yes; forgiveness, yes. I knew I needed those. I’d been working on and praying for those. But meekness? This was new.
So I ordered that 300 year-old book, “The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit.” I pored over it—nearly all of its 144 pages are dog-eared and well-marked—moved by Henry’s message:
We must learn to walk with meekness, for this is “in the sight of God of great price.” Therefore this mark of honor is, in a special measure, put upon the grace of meekness, because it is commonly despised and looked upon with contempt by the children of this world.…
Meekness… is a very excellent grace which every one of us should put on.
This bitter, clinging, on-the-run exile was starved for peace. Suddenly meekness mattered to me.
Why I Wrote MEEK NOT WEAK
Conflict, estrangement and infertility persisted. But meekness was the balm that allowed me to grow, not merely go, through them. And I couldn’t keep this treasure to myself. So this #meekgeek started sharing meekness with my friends. Together, around the Bible study table we experienced how this “first place grace” allowed us to rest in, rather than resist, God’s hand.
Transform is overused. But I can’t think of a better word. I wrote Meek Not Weak because meekness is transforming the way we perceive and receive trials.
The meek mindset allows us not only to endure troubles but to score off of our trials. In other words, when we receive the hard people and difficult circumstances in our lives with meekness, we are more Christlike than we would have been without facing them. Which is exactly why we’re here, right? To be conformed to the image of Jesus is God’s good purpose for us (Romans 8:28-29).
I have been writing Meek Not Weak for almost ten years. Looking back, though, it has been writing me.
While this book is deeply personal, it is not a memoir. Nor is it self-help. You could say Meek Not Weak is a biography of meekness. It’s my humble attempt to paint a portrait of biblical meekness that helps readers see more meek so that they can be more joyful, peaceful, and blessedly meek (see Isaiah 29:19, Psalm 37:11, Matthew 5:5).
We become what we behold. Readers will see snapshots of meekness that the Holy Spirit has used to tame and transform this impatient, take-matters-into-my-own-hands, firstborn, Type-A Christ-follower into a more meek child of the God, used to the Father’s guiding hand, ever conforming to the image of Jesus.
In what feels like an increasingly loud, hostile and fragile world, where “have it your way,” “don’t back down,” and “demand your rights” dominate, meekness matters now more than ever.
Will You Please Help?
Which brings me to my big, bold request.
After ten years of starts and stops, Meek Not Weak will (finally) be released in November. I could really use your help getting the word out. The launch team is growing and I would be thrilled if you would join us.
If you’d consider being on my launch team, just reply to this email. Simply say, “book launch.”
Later this month, I’ll share a small gift with launch team members and a free PDF of the book. I would be thrilled if you would 1) write an Amazon review, and 2) share the book with a friend or Bible study group.
This book writing business is all so big and new. I assure you that I am doing it all very imperfectly.
But I believe with all my heart that in our Lord’s kingdom, the meek are blessed. For Jesus Christ himself, the very King of Meekness, promised that when we come to him, share his yoke and learn of him, our souls will find rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
Meekness of spirit not only fits us for communion with God—but for civil converse with men;
thus among all the graces it holds first place.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…meekness.