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Why I’ll Never, Ever Pray for Humbleness Again

Photo via Flickr: haglundc

Photo via Flickr: haglundc

Here’s a great guest post from one of my favorite online writing buddies, Jamie Kocur.

She’s a gifted writer, singer and musician that I met for the first time at one of Jon Acuff’s Quitter events – needless to say she’s good people.

If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here:


God has a sense of humor. He’s had a few laughs at my expense. Not in a mean, bully-ish kind of way, but in an “I need to teach you some life lessons and we’re going to have a bit of fun with it” sort of way.

Years ago I had the opportunity to work with the African Children’s Choir. It’s an amazing organization that works to educate children, giving them better chances in their poverty stricken life.

The money is raised by concerts performed by the children, who dance and sing their way into your heart. The kids tour for about a year, then return home and have their education paid for by the organization. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

It was a sweet deal for me too. I applied to work with these kids and was offered the position of Music Supervisor. Along with the Choir Conductor, I made sure the performance was kept up to par. Performing four concerts a week, we traveled all over and were blessed by the hospitality of Christians.

People were wonderful and welcoming. I was surrounded by soft beds, feather pillows, gourmet meals and fluffy towels.

One day during my quiet time, I prayed about my situation. I was getting too spoiled by these amazing host families. I should have known better, but I asked to be humbled. I didn’t stop there. I prayed for a humbling experience.

Be very careful what you pray for.

Cracking His holy knuckles, God got straight to work. The very next day, driving to our host family’s house, our hostess turned to me and said, “We’re doing a bit of remodeling on the house.” I expected drywall and new paint smell. I smiled graciously at the news.

Walking inside the house, I resisted the urge to drop my jaw. This wasn’t a remodeling project. This was house construction.

The outer frame of the house was up, but there were no inside walls. No drywall to even apply paint to. Bare 2X4’s stood all through the house. No plumbing. No stairs to get to the third floor, just a ladder propped against the plywood floor.

I plastered a fake smile on as they showed me to my room on the third floor (lugging a suitcase with all your earthly belongings up a ladder is loads of fun!!!), which was sectioned off by bed sheets. My bed was a bare mattress on the floor. There was an open window to the right of the bed; open because it had no glass panes. I was thankful it was summer, because we were in Alaska

With no plumbing, there was no indoor bathroom. We used the outhouse in the front yard (I think I actually saw a moon on the front door) and the public showers down the street.

After getting the kids to bed, I was offered the chance to use their high speed Internet. It’s all about priorities, really.

That night, I went to bed early. There wasn’t much else to do. As I looked around my simple room, it was easy to be miffed about my surroundings. I was so used to comfy beds and lavish houses that I felt I wasn’t being given what I really deserved. Where was the comfy Berber carpet under my feet?

I remembered my prayer and sighed. Then I thought about Jesus and how he never had a place to lay His head or walls surrounding him or a roof over his head. I had that much at least. It hit me how selfish I really am. Sure, this housing situation wasn’t ideal, but really, I was safe and warm in my little bed on the floor. And I had privacy. This family had offered me the best they had. I was blessed, if I really thought about it.

Nevertheless, I breathed a silent sigh of relief as we left that host family for our next destination. As we left, I decided never to pray for humility again. I prayed a different prayer that day.

“Lord, PLEASE let my next host family have walls!”

As I was sitting in the passenger seat on my way to the next host family, my new hostess turned to me and said, “There’s no door on the room where you’re sleeping. I hope that’s okay.”

Be careful what you pray for, but also be SPECIFIC in your prayers. I could almost hear God chuckling up in heaven. I was so happy to have walls that I really didn’t care.

Question: Do you have an amusing experience in your faith walk? Has God ever taught you a good lesson, all while laughing at you?

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  1. What a great story Jamie – it would seem patience and humility work the say way – asking for more simply means you will be given more opportunities to exercise it. It would seem that most (if not all) things spiritual are muscles – growing comes through exercising.

  2. Love this, Jaime! Glad you got walls the next time! I also believe God has a great sense of humor answering my prayer requests or giving us those unspoken desires on our heart. Years ago, God did that in a humorous way in the grocery store and I’ve never forgotten that. He cares about even the smallest details.

  3. Tor, I love Jamie, so thanks for posting this. Jamie, this was so awesome.

  4. Jamie, I absolutely know that God has a sense of humor, and so do you. The image of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe cracking His knuckles is a delight!

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