A virtue that begins the action of healing
Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. (Psalm 138:6)
Have you ever stopped to consider why God cares for this human race? We get a whole lot of things wrong, but he still loves us deeply. We get all wigged-out at our neighbors, spend our resources foolishly, get involved in things that consume our time way too much, and he still keeps waiting on us to realize just how much we need him in our lives. Though he is GREAT, he cares for the HUMBLE. Those who realize their intentions may be good, but their actions reveal just how badly they can mess things up on their own are never going to be rejected by our merciful and GREAT God. In fact, he will continue to draw them to himself, pouring out grace upon grace, until we finally realize our 'best self' is the 'self' that stops being too proud to seek his presence in our lives.
James 4:6 reminds us that God actually opposes the prideful, but he gives grace upon grace to the humble. Humility is actually the one 'virtue' that every other 'good thing' in our lives is built upon. It takes admitting we need help in order for the processes of growth to actually begin in our hearts, minds, and spirit. For a long time, I believed the old adage, "God helps those who help themselves", even thinking it was part of scripture. I have discovered it is not scriptural at all - in fact, if you understand grace, you will recognize that grace is given to those who admit they can NOT help themselves! We think we need to do something to 'get grace', but we must always remember grace is given freely - without us deserving it at all. We find God's care when we admit we have done a poor job of ruling our own lives and invite him to really take over that rulership.
A word of caution here - we can ask for his rulership without really giving him that place in our lives. If you are anything like me, when things are going well, I might think I can steer my life, but as soon as the proverbial 'poop hits the fan', I realize just what a 'stinky' job I have done at 'driving'! Pride makes us think we don't need to lean in when things are going well, and it makes us vulnerable to attack of all kinds, because PRIDE will always open the door for compromise, failure, and hurts. Humble people recognize their need but aren't too ashamed to admit it to God. They are open to doing what he says, not always what they 'feel'. The truly humble person is open to God's leading because they realize without it, the path will be riddled with all manner of 'messes', 'hurts', and 'life-long hang-ups'.
True humility is manifest in more than our words - it comes in the actions of repentance. Remembering that repentance is a 'turning away' from what we had previously pursued or done, it carries the idea of doing more than admitting we need help. Maybe God stands with the humble because they willingly admit their short-comings and failures, seeking his help to overcome them. Perhaps part of humility is 'drawing close' to his heart, settling into his presence, and listening intently to his words. How does this relate to humility? It shows we truly don't want to remain in control any longer and are intent on his taking that control for us. Humility is the one virtue that begins our healing. Just sayin!