"See just how snake-like I can be..."

One of my favorite books is Roy Hession’s Calvary Road. If you’ve never had the opportunity to read it I highly recommend picking up a copy. It is a classic that I reference and read often.

I’ve thought in the last few days about one of my most well-read, regularly-visited passages.

Here’s the context-I’m struggling right now. For the last few days Satan has had a field day with me. My emotions are raw. My responses are harsh. My patience is tested, and I am tired. Relationships that should bring comfort are bringing conflict and criticism. My flesh wants to plead my innocence. I want to call into account the circumstances as justification for my actions. My will protests. I will not bend “the proud, stiff-necked I,” as Hession would say.

In Calvary Road, Hession talks a lot about brokenness. God is beckoning me back to one particular passage where Hession asks the reader to consider Christ. Here’s an excerpt:

“For this reason we are not likely to be broken except at the cross of Jesus. The willingness of Jesus to be broken for us is the all-compelling motive in our being broken too. We see Him, who is in the form of God, counting not equality with God a prize to be grasped at and hung on to, but letting it go for us and taking upon Him the form of a Servant-God’s Servant, man’s Servant. We see Him willing to have not rights of His own, willing to let men revile Him and not revile again, willing to let men tread on Him and not retaliate or defend Himself. Above all, we see Him broken as He meekly goes to Calvary to become men’s scapegoat by bearing their sins in His own body on the Tree. In a pathetic passage in a prophetic psalm, He says, “I am a worm, and no man.” (Psalm 22:6) Those who have been in tropical lands tell us that there is a big difference between a snake and a worm, when you attempt to strike at them. The snake rears itself up and hisses and tries to strike back-a true picture of self. But a worm offers no resistance, it allows you to do what you like with it, kick it or squash it under your heel-a picture of true brokenness. And Jesus was willing to become just that for us-a worm and no man.”

I am not fond of this passage. I have struggled for years with the idea of Jesus as a worm. I prefer to think of Him as a valiant yet obedient victor even in death. I struggle with the picture of my crowned King as one of a worm. I even told God so. I argued with Him about the accuracy of such a portrayal of Jesus. I suggested that Hession had overstepped and not balanced the greater message of the Word that ascribes Jesus the glory, honor and power due His Name.

In the midst of my brave and heart-felt defense of my Savior, the Risen One interrupted my thoughts and asked simply, “Do you defend my character or your arrogance?”

“My darling daughter you rail against the idea of Me as a selfless worm while resting on my provision as a spotless lamb. Is it because you hate the idea that I ask you to be just as selfless, just as broken?”

It was true. I don’t hate the idea that Jesus is a worm; I hate the conviction that I must become one as well. This dialogue with the Lord occurred nearly nine years ago during my first reading of Calvary Road. The Spirit brought it to my mind again today.

So if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go dig out my copy and walk the path of brokenness. It’s time to bend that“proud, stiff-necked I.”

P.S.-Extra credit for those of you who know which movie today's post title was quoted from.

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Nichole said...

Dang Girl!

I just came from p31. You my friend, are one smart cookie! I laughed, I cried, it moved me BOB! (Veggie Tales)
Seriously.... How convicting and humbling. Ya know When you read something or listen to Todd Agnew's songs that make ya say...."eeeewwwwwooooh" that is convicting and I needed to hear that. That's what you did for me today. So..... Thank you for bringing me closer to my Savior.

Dear Jesus...make me a worm.

Lynn Cowell said...

Thank you so much for your devo today. I was good to "reconnect" with you after She Speaks. I love your blog; what a beautiful family!
Keep on!

Andrew said...

A snake, am I? Perhaps you'd like to see how snake-like I can be!

-from Aladdin

Extra cred for me Whit? Ha! Hey you know Ash and I love you and pray for how God will have you use this gift of yours.

Great devotionals and a great post today! Ever think about how long you've been waiting, knowing God wanted you to use this gift, but not knowing when or how?

With Chad, we're proud of you.

Julie Coleman said...

How profound your post is. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see someone post this great truth. Following Jesus in His brokenness is exactly what we need to do. We don't like to dwell on that-- we like the "victory" side of things so much better. Yet being broken really is the true victory. We demonstrate ourselves victorious over the sin that held us in bondage when we deny ourselves and follow Him. It is when we are truly broken that we are truly free. Thank you so much for what you wrote. The Lord is honored.

Sincerely, Julie Coleman

Joyce Nichols said...


I have been reading P31 for a year, now. Currently, my mom is in ICU, and very sick. She has multiple things, but the most severe is a septic blood infection. Last year, she battled cancer and is a survivor. I live about 750 miles away. I'm in florida and she is in Ky. I'm praying for her recovery, but want to see her. I'm waiting, God's provision is there, I know. I'm just so sad. I'm struggling with this, but your devotions have really helped. God is so Awesome, to give me exactly what I need. Everyone, please pray for mom and my family.

His sheep

Starr said...

The brokenessis so hard, but so necessary in order to follow our savior. I am being broken at this very moment and am hurting, but excited at the same time to see what God has in store. Funny how that works, isn't it? Something good always comes from the brokeness when we walk in His kingdom.
Thanks for your devotions. They are wonderful!

Tammy Nischan said...


I can't get extra credit...I don't know the movie. :(

But, I do want to thank you for your words and for your book recommendation. I will be looking for it soon. Ironically, brokenness is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. See, my son has cancer. For over 6 years he has been undergoing surgeries, treatments, special diets, and the list goes on and on....but in the past several weeks, he has become very, very sick. He is in so much pain.
Lysa actually shared about Nick recently in her blog.

Anyway, Sunday in my Sunday school class I told the ladies that I felt like a toddler who had been throwing a temper tantrum, stomping my feet and trying to get things to go my way, and then finally had worn out and given in to the reality of the situation. Broken. Total surrender. No more "my way." It has to be God's way.

What this means is that while I have placed Nick on God's lap figuratively for all of these years, I have never truly let go and said, "Your will not mine." Oh, this hard for me.

Thank you for reminding me that Jesus did the same thing on the cross.

Love you,
Tammy Nischan

teresa.schultz said...

Your title is from Aladdin, of course - I recognized it immediately! My son watched that movie over and over (and over again) when he was younger (he's almost 13 now), so every line is seared into my brain! Loved your post today!

Vern said...

Hey Girl!!

Micca tagged me and now I am tagging you...Come check out the details on my blog

Be Inspired!

Love ya!!!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

How fun to find a new blog friend. I was tagged by Vern as well, so I thought I would come and check you out. I read your past posts and could SO identify to the one on finding the balance in the new blog obsession. So many wonderful women, so little time, and I know you're like me...we were busy before we started a blog.

LeAnn said...

Hey Girl,

You have given me so much to think about today... I hate that! I'm a very busy woman, you know. LOL!

Thank you for opening my eyes this morning, Whitney. I will be looking for a copy of this book ASAP!

Much Love,