I remember the day so vividly: I arrived to church a little early to make sure the coffee and breakfast pastries were set up. I knew it would take me a little longer than normal because the pain from the surgery last week lingered. Sitting at the round table before anyone had walked in, the rush of doubt, lies, shame and fear stormed my whole body. I had prayed for a long time to get to lead this group of women in this exact bible study, yet right then it felt all wrong. It did not look at all what I thought it would, and honestly what I prayed for. I was not even present for our first meeting, and I surely didn't think I could start here leading this study. I was not expecting to come into this study feeling so weak and empty, but I kept pleading with Him to be with me, to reveal and redeem all of this because it was not up to me. It was almost time for women to start walking in and I sat there, knowing that I had to make a choice. If I wanted God to be made known here - for His presence to take over this place, for Him to use this, fully surrendered to whatever He was going to do here in the lives of each woman who would sit around this table and in my story here - I had to be fully present. That meant I had to be exposed. I had to be positioned in such a way that God could reveal Himself.
The room filled with smiling faces, and you could feel the joy in the room, yet I felt somewhat retracted. Everyone gathered around the table and we opened in prayer. Before I could say anything more or go around the table with introductions, I boldly said I needed to tell them something, something that made me feel weak and broken.
“A week ago I lost my son. He died inside and I almost lost my life. They had to urgently take him, along with my fallopian tube, out. I am devastated, I am confused and I don't know what to do with this emptiness I am feeling. All of me doesn't think I can lead you all this summer, in this study.”
It was right there, we all began to weep and He was there. We were all connected, you could feel it. I was not alone. They were not alone. We had Christ with us, we all had one another, and that right there was how we would all journey through this study that was all about getting unstuck and chasing after our Savior.
I made Him known, and in doing that, each woman in that group made Him known throughout the entire time together. It was powerful. It was impact.
The power of vulnerability transforms our relationship with the Lord. He already knows every single piece of who we are and what our story looks like because we are made in His image. When we embrace this truth wholeheartedly, the more we know who He is, the greater depths of understanding the grace, restoration and redemption He so freely gives us on a daily basis.
This is where the Kingdom impact takes off. When we can agree to quit proclaiming the weakness as a forever broken piece, dying to the flesh, we begin to live in Christ. We praise and we worship Christ, we let Christ take over - vulnerability leads people to Christ.
The impact of vulnerability holds such a weight because we get to experience the mighty power of Christ living inside of us, believing His grace is all we need, His strength dwells in our weaknesses. He is always available, regardless of anything. Why not share all of who He is and what He has, and is doing. Breaking down the walls of our lives builds up a Kingdom of people who live for Christ.
Vulnerability is to be exposed. In that space of vulnerability lies the possibility of being looked at with a different lens. A lens that puts our identity, our being and our flesh out there, in the wide-open places. Our world would have us hold back in fear of the unknown, a protective mechanism against self - the shielded approach to our story and who God made us to be is the safer direction. When the vulnerability is non-existent, we are not living fully surrendered to what God is at work within. God calls us to be bold, He tells us that He is all we need, and because of that, whatever vulnerabilities come alive, births a new place where His good and His glory are magnified. When we are vulnerable, He is exposed - He is made known. That is the impact.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, English Standard Version)
So I leave you with this today: will you be vulnerable for the sake of Christ? He says when we are weak, we are also strong and able because we are drawing from the strength of the Lord. Will you make Him known, for His glory, impacting others as you take hold of the weight of the power of your vulnerability?
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.