From the grocery store checkout line, it looks like the “happy” people who are “inheriting the earth” have Golden Globes and Grammys, and they fly through the air during Super Bowl halftime. They have fame like Beyonce and hair like Jennifer Anniston. These people don’t look meek to me, they look sexy and invincible. Meek, by comparison, seems dull. But we are reading words from the supreme Artist who I believe is the Painter of the pinkest sunsets, the Sculptor of the greatest mountains, and the Inventor of the smell of newborn babies. From what I can see, He doesn’t do dull. Plus, those magazine covers will change before my milk runs out, and we are after stuff that lasts forever. So I must rethink “meek”. Before I can look at “blessed are the meek” on its own, I have to look at what landed me here. First, we have to understand that blessing comes to the poor in spirit, that our lives are ultimately empty without Jesus. Then, we see the blessing that comes when we grieve the sin-distance from Him, seeing all the things we have put between God and ourselves; and we turn back to Him in wonderment that He wants us so much. And now we stand before God totally naked and utterly exposed. We have shed all the layers we put on to make a good show to the world, and we have come to the cross in humility seeing how quickly we are to worship everything around us besides Him. We are bare, real, raw, spirit-crushed, and weary from mourning. And, at this place, He looks at us and says, “Stay just like that. I have a plan for you, and it is beautiful.”
So, take a minute and think about all the things you are hiding right this very minute. There are physical things like your panty line because you don’t want anyone to know you are wearing granny panties with your skinny jeans. There’s that dreadful muffin top escaping out of said jeans, that pimple, the dark eye circles, and your natural hair color (wink!). But there are more painful insecurities. Maybe it’s your bank account, your lack of education, your disappointment that your son is not a superstar, that your daughter is overweight, the fact that your marriage is empty, that you are petrified to be alone; or maybe it’s the deep heart truth that you really just want more stuff, not more God. Shame, guilt, hiding. Whatever it is, we all do it. Layers upon layers in defense of ME. It’s our human nature to preserve our self, and we have spent a lifetime becoming experts at it.
In this one tiny verse, Jesus is telling us to take off all the layers of pomp and self-importance, and life in defense of ME. He is asking us to live surrendered to Him, and, in doing so, He Himself will defend you. Not only will He defend you, He will decorate you, He will cherish you, He will deliver you, He will never leave you; and, ultimately, He will exalt you. He will write your life story in such a way that you will look back and wonder what in the world you were ever trying to defend in the first place.
John McAurthur said meekness is saying, “I will never defend myself, but I will use all my power to defend God [in me].” William Barclay says meekness is “the characteristic that makes a man bow low before God in order that he may stand tall before other men.” I say meekness is when we go to Jesus stripped down naked to the most honest version of ourselves and we say to Him, “You dress me. You write my story. When I get up from this naked place, I want to stand with You.”
Girls, hear me clearly, meekness is not weakness, and it is not dowdy or dull. Meekness is bold and courageous and beautiful. When you are meek, you are no longer hiding your flaws, because you have surrendered them; and you are now touting the perfect splendor and strength of Jesus Christ. Why are the meek blessed? The meek are blessed because they know their lives are being handled by, decorated by, written by, sustained by, and empowered by God, Himself.