6-20-2019 – e-News

Vulnerability can be a tricky thing. On the one hand, it is a vital component to any thriving relationship. If we want to have a meaningful relationship with anyone, it will require us to open up about our lives at one point or another. On the other hand, we don’t want to be vulnerable with people who could potentially misuse or misinterpret the things we share.
 
In today’s culture and society, we see people all over doing their best to deny their own vulnerabilities. The world tells us this is how we appear strong. But for those of us who believe, we need to remind ourselves that this is in no way what Christ tells us about strength.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul reminds us of Christ’s words when he says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” He then adds “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” You see, as Christians we are called to account for our weaknesses. When we stumble, when we fall, we must hand the things we struggle with over to Christ. When we do this without reservation and fully hand over our vulnerabilities to our Creator, he transforms us in the most amazing ways. But in order for this to happen, we must first acknowledge our weakness and be vulnerable. And that is what can keep many from experiencing the transformative power of Christ.
 
These past couple of weeks, I had the privilege of going on a missions trip with a group of our high school students and leaders. We went up to Allen, South Dakota to help out the local missionaries Tim and Kim Wardell as they were putting on VBS and youth group for the local Native American community. To say that people living in this area were living in hopelessness is an understatement. Upon arriving we were able to see that the people of Allen were essentially living in a place much like a majority world country.
 
In my conversations with Tim and Kim I got the sense that the local teens had a lot of experiences with groups coming up and trying to “fix” them. Many students there were living in horribly abusive and destructive environments, Many had multiple friends who had committed suicide, while still others had tried to kill themselves more than once. In short, our group was likely going to have a hard time connecting with them. But then I was reminded of the importance of vulnerability. Instead of coming to theses kids with another way to “be fixed,” I challenged myself and my students to be vulnerable with them.
 
Over the course of three nights, three students, one leader, and myself all shared our testimonies with the teens. We held nothing back. We were as vulnerable as we could be with them, letting them know of our hurts and our brokenness. We also shared where God had encountered us in our brokenness and where he had begun to work in our lives. Instead of trying to fix them, we let them know that God was the one who had transformed us, and, through our sharing, we witnessed God transform them as well.
 
By being vulnerable, admitting our weaknesses, and being open with sharing what has happened in our lives, we open the way for God to enter into us, transform us, and use us to transform the lives of others. I was able to witness that over the course of our missions trip, and my hope is that by sharing this, you are reminded of what God has to say about our weakness as well. After all, it is not about us being strong, but us glorifying and praising the One who is strong when we are not.
 
Rejoicing in my weakness where He is strong,
Pastor Andrew
 
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