Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Joy of Vulnerability

My pearly Forester is equipped with a few features that are spoiling me for anything less.

Seat warmers.
I know it has been the winter that wasn't thus far, but I get cold easily!

Blue tooth.
No more driving with something sticking out of my ear!

A port for my iPod
All my favorite tunes at my disposal!
This is vying for my vote as most-favored accessory.

The system is set up to play all the selections at random.
I love a surprise!

Interspersed among the songs are a few sermons, conferences talks, devotional materials and even the book of Revelations read by Max McLean.

Occasionally one of the non-musical items is selected.
Sometimes I hit the handy button on my steering wheel to skip it, just like I do for a song here and there.
At other times I feel prompted to listen.

Earlier today a portion of a sermon by a man named Ivan Tate came on.
He spoke at my son, Matt's former church, The Mission in California.

I did not hit the button, but listened instead.

Mr. Tate was speaking about being real.
He made a statement that caught my attention.
The gist of it was that some of us never let anyone else really know us.  That somewhere along the line we were hurt and had put up a wall to protect ourselves from future pain.
He asserted that there were definitely couples sitting in the audience that had been married for years, yet did not know really each other.

I know about putting walls up.
Many years ago I began to attend a Child of Alcoholics group.
It is there that Papa revealed to me that not only did I not like to find my self in a vulnerable position, but I didn't even like the word!

Through this group He taught me to connect with my emotions and then look at where many of them stemmed from.
The first step was to learn about emotions. 
With the help of a wonderful priest, who led the group, we explored emotions.
We all knew about anger and fear, but many others were seemingly foreign to us.  We had learned to suppress them.

It was tough work, but it was rewarding and very freeing in the end.

I may have moved on from the group, but Papa has not ended the lessons.

Just the other day He brought the subject of being vulnerable up again.
However, this time it was about Jesus' vulnerability being my example.

The Creator laid Himself bare before His creation.
He left the glories of Heaven to be ridiculed, spit upon, beaten and even crucified... the very ones He, not only created, but loved.

I love the way The Message puts it in the Second chapter of Philippians, verses Five through Eight read this way,
"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself.  He had equal status with God, but didn't think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.  Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!  Having become human, He stayed human.  It was an incredibly humbling process.  He didn't claim special privileges.  Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death-and the worst kind of death at that- a crucifixion."
You can't be humble without being vulnerable.
All rights must be set aside.

He did it out of love.
Love for the Father and love for us.

It is that love that moves us to follow His example.

Vulnerability; humility requires surrender.
Surrender of stuff, status and self.

The stuff Jesus surrendered was far greater than any we could be required to let go of....
His stuff was made up glory....The glories of Heaven!
Any status and sense of self we have more than pales in face of His position and identity as God.....

He gave it all up for....
 "the joy set before Him." Hebrew Twelve, Two
The joy of a relationship with us for all eternity!

His joy is available to all who come to Him in surrender.
"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."  John Fifteen, Eleven
Joy and so much more!

I have been hanging out in Colossians lately.  In the Third chapter, a three letter word caught my attention.


We are instructed to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and to let the word of Christ richly dwell with us.
In other words surrender.

Surrender, be willing to be vulnerable and though pain might come, the joy will make it worth it all.

We have our Savior's Word on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment