Humble yourselves before the Lord ...
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. -James 4:7-10
It is hard to read these words and not think about the word 'repentance'. When I think about that word my mind wanders to the times when my heart and my actions have strayed from God's path. I also remember how humbling it was to find my way back to the narrow road. It reminds me of the story of the Prodigal Son and how he came to his senses after being away from home for so long. It took humility for him to admit that he was wrong and to come home.
Even so, it is impossible to tell the story of the Prodigal and not mention the Father. Jesus tells us that the Father saw his boy from far away and went running to him. It is the image I have of God when we turn away from our sinful actions, lifestyles and habits and turn towards Him. I think of the robe, the sandals and the ring that the Father clothed the Prodigal with when James speaks of God lifting us up in honor when we humble ourselves in repentance.
I am proud and independent Lord. I am more like the prodigal than I want to admit. Help to to return home.