Out of Strength

photo by Kannan B.flickr.creative commons I've been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately.

It doesn't appear that I'm the only one. There are books and TED talks and blogs all dedicated to vulnerability.

I am all for this. I think that it is important to be truly yourself with people, and I think it's also important to have people in your life who are close enough to say even: "if I said this to anyone else they would think I was crazy" things, to.

Last week was tough for me. I was vulnerable, and it didn't go well. I got hurt. I've been recovering. In the midst of all the pain that came along with that, I realized something which should have been obvious: I need to be vulnerable with God before I can be vulnerable with others.

I once heard a sermon where a man talked about how he behaves when he has news: good or bad. The first person he tells is his wife. If he isn't with her, he calls, and if he can't get ahold of her, he waits before telling anyone else. The idea is that the story is the best the first time through. After a few tellings, you get sick of the story and you don't have the same enthusiasm for it. He and his wife guard this so that they give the enthusiasm the other deserves.

I want to be like that with God.

photo by Kevin Dooley.flickr.creative commons

For one thing, God knows me intimately. He knows exactly what happens, how I responded to it, and why. When I go to Him, He has the power to act, either in the situation, or in me. Even though some people may have small shadows of that ability, only God sees the entire situation and has complete power over it.

Still, even though He knows me so well, I think that something special happens when I choose to go to God first and lay myself out before Him. It's a great and wonderful mystery that God knows what we need before we can ask, but still wants us to tell Him.

When I am vulnerable with God, comfortable in His presence and secure in what He thinks about me, I am operating out of a place of strength. Now, when I am vulnerable with people, it doesn't hurt so much when they reject me, because I know that God has not, and never will.

It's a beautiful gift we have to give one another: letting each other in to the stories God is telling in our lives, in all of their glorious messes. When we commune with God, sharing ourselves with Him, I think vulnerability with others is a natural outpouring of who He is creating us to be, every day.