It was the pinnacle of his career as an astronaut. Chris Hadfield had been selected as the first Canadian to be commander of the International Space Station (ISS). After watching the moon landing as a boy of nine, he had one focus – to be an astronaut. He worked hard to get there, becoming an engineer, a fighter pilot and a test pilot before reaching his goal.
As commander of the ISS, Hadfield was ultimately responsible for the safety of the crew and spacecraft. Thousands followed him on Twitter, enthralled by his experiences, which most could only dream about. His was a job few in the world are experienced to do. The temptation to feel superior would be great, yet while feeling proud of his accomplishments, his humility is impressive. He recalls one time spending three hours on the ISS taking apart the toilet which had malfunctioned. Commander, yet plumber. He constantly put the needs of others above his own, like a true leader. His willingness to do menial tasks along the way contributed to his success.
Jesus Christ, the one by whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16) and who upholds “all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3), humbled Himself and came to the earth He had created. He “made Himself of no reputation”, took on Himself the form of a man and “became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2: 7-8). He was our only hope of salvation. He did not think it beneath Him to come and be among those He had created, even be rejected by them (John 1:11). He knew there was no other way we could be saved.
The greatest example of humility led to the greatest promotion. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, “has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11). Whether you want a relationship with Jesus Christ or not, you will bow to Him someday, acknowledging Him to be who He really is. Will you acknowledge Him out of love and gratitude to Him as your Lord and Saviour, or out of fear of Him as your judge?
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