Many tourist attractions offer horse-riding experiences. These horses have been trained so they will not run like wild horses. As a result, tourists can safely ride on them. By nature, a horse is strong and can run fast but when it is controlled by a bit and bridle, it can stop doing so as it submits to its rider’s will. A gentle or meek person is likened to a horse controlled by a bit and bridle. Even though he is strong, he submits to God’s will.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5). Why is it that the meek but not the powerful who will inherit the earth? Greek scholar W. E. Vine says that in the Bible, meekness is seen as an attitude towards God “in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting”. This is seen in Jesus, who delights in doing His Father’s will. He possesses the power to summon angels to come down from Heaven to stop His crucifixion but He did not. Instead, He chose to leave the circumstances to God.
It is no wonder that the Bible refers to Jesus as meek. Jesus told His weary, heavy-laden followers, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt 11:29, ASV).
Jim White, in his book Christlikeness relates the testimony of a janitor that aptly illustrates the meaning of meekness. The first time they met, Jim asked him, “How are you?” He replied, “Oh not so bad, probably better off than most people.” As their conversation progressed, he told Jim that he was a Christian and his 12-year-old son had been killed by a lorry while riding a bicycle. At the scene, he did not cry over his son but instead comforted the lorry driver. When a puzzled policeman at the scene asked him for the reason, he said his son was a Christian so he knew where his son was, but the lorry driver had no hope, and needed comfort. Next, he told Jim that his wife was also a Christian. She could not get over the grief of losing her son, and ended up in a mental institution. He had to work hard to pay the hospital bill. Since the state felt he could not take care of his daughter on his salary, he had to put her in a foster home. The painful part for him was to hear his daughter calling another man ‘Daddy’.
Here was a man who submitted to God in the midst of extreme circumstances, without rebellion. Although he lived with the daily pain that stemmed from the loss of his son, his wife being in a mental institution, and his daughter calling another man ‘Daddy’, he was able to say, “Oh, not so bad, probably better off than most people.” This is true meekness in action and is the life and character to which God has called us to live out.
When we are tired and troubled, Jesus invites us to discover the peace of meekly trusting Him. ~ David McCasland ~