Archives for category: Vulnerability

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Most of us are doing the best that we can.  At the half-way mark of our 21-day journey, I remind you to be kind to yourself!

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When it comes to theories that govern the human experience, there are only two choices:  Faith and chance.  We either believe that there is a higher power that controls the world’s affairs, or we believe that everything is randomized and left to chance/luck.  Everyone believes in something.   While those who believe in a higher power might not agree on who or what that higher power is, they all agree that there are forces greater than themselves at play.  By default, even those who have asserted a belief in nothing (i.e. atheist or agnostics) have confirmed their belief in something—in chance.  Here is why:  Life is still occurring, and in order for life to continue, some force must be in place.  So if there is no higher being, no God, then chance must come in play to perpetuate life.  Here is the problem, change is random, which means that it’s disorganized.  In order for life to be sustained, there must be organization.  Organization is a characteristic of faith.  More specifically, organization is a characteristic of Christ.

The more I mature in my walk with Jesus Christ, the more I begin to view my life experiences as more than mere coincidences but instead divine appointments.

In life, there are seasons when we wrestle with being content knowing that our current situations do not align with our heart desires.  In those seasons, it becomes difficult to reconcile with the fact that even when we chase after God and the dreams that He has placed on our hearts, God could appear distant and silent.  Like Joseph, God has given us all dreams where the journey from the pit to the palace tends to be an arduous voyage.  Most pastors and spiritual leaders would urge us to praise God though those difficult times.  The truth is, it is difficult to worship in the midst of disappointment and heartbreak.  Though that’s what we should do, it’s not what most of us do.  We quarrel with God for our disappointments.  We get angry with Him for our heartaches.  Sometimes, even when we do praise Him, we “secretly” grieve.

During this season, I have grown to love King David.  God labeled David as the apple of His eyes.  David was transparent.  He was not afraid to be vulnerable with God.  Yesterday, on my commute to work, I found myself having one of those Davidic moments.  I vented my frustrations to God.  I told God that I had grown weary waiting for revelation and I wanted to experience the manifestation of my faith not just the anticipation of my expectation.

I must be honest.  It felt good to let it all out.  After my vent, I listened to a few worship songs, and then I went to work.

At lunchtime, I ate in my car.  My mood had changed from that of the morning.  A sense of peace overwhelmed me as I continued to listen to my new Hillsong CD.  I had spent about 30 minutes eating, relaxing and meditating.  I thought of the story in Genesis where Jacob wrestled with God:

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared,” (NIV).

I believe that God touched Jacob’s hip to let him know who He was.  But even after Jacob had the revelation that the man was indeed God, Jacob did not let Him go.  He replied that he would not let God go until God blessed him.  Wow!!! What a revelation!  I believe what this passage is saying is that even when we wrestle with God, we should not let Him go until He blesses us.  That is the true definition of faith–believing in God despite our circumstances and holding on to Him until we see the manifestation of His promises.

Today’s take home message:

Even when we wrestle with God in seasons of disappointment, do not let Him go.

Even though we may wrestle with our anger towards God, do not let Him go.

Even though we wrestle with man, do not let God Go.

Even though we wrestle with sin, do not let God Go.

In the end, Jacob refused to let God go, and as a result, God blessed him.  God said that even though he wrestled with God and with man, he did not let go.

IN ORDER TO ALLOW GOD TO BLESS YOU, DO NOT LET GO!!

The closing ceremonies for the Hillsong 2013 NY Conference was almost two days ago, and I am still savoring the glory of the experience.  There were so many amazing stories and testimonies shared.  The one that most compelled me was that of Joel Houston.  He is the lead singer of Hillsong United and co-pastor of Hillsong Church NYC.  He testified that his walk with God did not always immunize him from insecurity and loneliness.  Joel, a man of God and a pastor, stood before thousands and shared a part of himself.  The authenticity of his vulnerability was palpable.  It was raw.  How much courage that must have taken?  Surely, he must have considered what other would have thought of him.  What would his flock say?  Would they frown on him as a leader for admitting his fallibility, or would they honor him for his humility?  The answer is both!  The truth is, you could never be everything to everyone, but you could be something to someone.  When you and I are vulnerable, it allows others to embrace their own imperfections.

A lot of my confidence has evolved by experiencing other’s vulnerability.  For example, as a recently graduated dentist, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing Endodontist (Root Canal Specialist).  She had worked previously as a general dentist.  Her vulnerability and transparency gave me courage to face my insecurities.  It took great courage for her to share some of her pitfalls with me.  She stepped out on a limb and trusted that I would not use the information she shared to judge her or scale myself to her.  I have to tell you, her act of kindness boosted my confidence.

When we express vulnerability it allows the recipient to know that they are not alone.  Vulnerability allows others to know that it is possible to be victorious despite their circumstances.

When Joel shared his story, it reminded me that even those closest to God are still refined by fire.  Joel’s testimony not only renewed hope, but it created an opportunity for the development of freedom.  Unfortunately, even Christians are held captive by false ideologies.  The idea that trials are punishment for misdeeds still permeate the Christian world.  That concept is nothing new.  Look at Job.  His friends thought that his misfortune was directly correlated with his sin.  Thankfully, grace is free.  God created it in a way where we can’t earn it.  We can’t buy it, and, we definitely can’t lose it.

Today, my prayer is that you allow others to experience freedom through your vulnerability.  The notion that we always have to have it together is false and dangerous.  It creates fodder for negative spirits (e.g. insecurity, doubt, envy and fear).  Ask God to grant you the vulnerability to set someone free.  In the process, you will learn that the person who will experience the most freedom is YOU!