Humility: Life in the Middle of the Ampersand

Living in the middle of the ampersand. (That’s a fancy word for the and symbol. This guy: &) It’s an image that will stick with me. 

On my desk at work, I have a lovely looking ampersand—that I bought just because I’m word-nerd with a warm place in my heart for typography, not with any particular meaning in mind. 

But now, every time I look at it, I’ll think of humility—and of being fearfully & wonderfully made. 

In Dannah Gresh’s message tonight, she pointed us to Psalm 139:13–14:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

How are we fearfully made? We’re made in a way that inspires fear of God. He shows His power, His sovereignty, His goodness in our very cells. He gives us the very breath that we breathe. As Dannah reminded us here at Revive ’19, “fearfully” isn’t about us. It’s about God! 

As beautiful and important as this truth is, we can easily swing too far in our fear of God. We start living in a place of shame, of navel-gazing, of belittling ourselves and others. Rather than glorifying God about how He has made us, we focus on who we are without Him. We forget the part of the verse above that says “wonderfully.” 

God didn’t make a mistake when He made you. He crafted your brain and all its quirks, the features of your face, your way of interacting with the world . . . it’s all beautiful in His sight, because you’re His masterpiece. And He’s the artist. 

He doesn’t create low-quality, knockoff art. He makes art that reflects His glory and His image. He makes you and me. 

He makes your best friend and your worst enemy. He makes the powerful and the disenfranchised. He makes weak masterpieces and strong masterworks. 

He makes wonderfully made people. 

I said at the beginning that all of this—the & in the middle of “fearfully and wonderfully”—would remind me of humility. Why? 

As Dannah said, humility is living in the middle of that ampersand. It’s knowing the fear of God and knowing the wonder of God’s glory in us and others. It’s when we “know truly who He is and know that He is worthy of every breath, and then we see the needs of others and are drawn to meet their needs.”

That glory of God in us, it gives us the humility to step forward into the purposes God has for our lives. And that fear of God that His design brings on us—that awareness of our dependence on Him for life and our desperate need for His salvation—gives us humility to seek Him daily, to run to Him like a little child. 

So, when I feel frustrated at someone, who is made in God’s image, or I feel shame about something in my physical make-up, or I am angry that I am unrecognized, I can look up at that ampersand and remember. I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . and humility is the path to God’s dwelling within me. 

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)

May it be true of you and me and everyone in the Church, that we live in the middle of being fearfully and wonderfully made . . . that we would have ampersand humility. 

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About the Author

Hayley Mullins

Hayley Mullins

Hayley Mullins is the managing editor at Revive Our Hearts. She is passionate about encouraging grace-filled, honest community in the Church. When she’s not writing, you can find Hayley chasing adventures in libraries, on hiking trails, and through deep conversations.

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