Vulnerabilities and Challenges
In this country any of our vulnerabilities are hidden, definitely not shared. We definitely wouldn’t want to appear lacking in any way. Any money problems would not be shared. Nor marital problems. We need to be seen in charge of everything in our lives, competent, directed towards a material goal. But hiding all our problems means that we keep a protective wall around ourselves so that, hopefully, only the good things about us are known to others. This is like being in jail, or in servitude to an idea that does not serve us. For sharing our vulnerabilities to people we trust frees us to just be ourselves, no longer adhering to the society’s goals for us, but acknowledging that we are imperfect human beings who still can be loved.
Sharing our vulnerabilities with others we trust is the doorway into living in the truth about ourselves, our nation, our world and our God. Think about how much a burden hiding the truth is. We have to self-protect with walls so that others don’t see the truth. We are not free to just be who we are—warts and all. What a relief it would be to tear down the walls so that we can be seen as real people. I think this is what Jesus meant when He told us that “the truth would set us free!”(John 8:31-32) Lies burden us, keep us in a small box in which we can never be comfortable. If we’re following Jesus, not only are we set free of servitude to false ideas, but we are not shouldering the burden of hiding ourselves, because Jesus is right there beside us helping us in every way. Jesus promised us that “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:30) And so, no matter what He asks to do, He is helping us in all that we are called to do.
Let me just illustrate this with some recent changes in my life. As a young adult, I was very shy and I married a very pubic man, at home on stage, in front of a microphone, or a TV camera. And I was very happy to be in the wings watching him. I didn’t have a career other than as a wife and mother until I was 65 when I started this blog about living the life in Christ, based on my training as a spiritual director. In the next 10 years I also wrote 4 books and the latest one, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy,” seemed worth an investment in promoting it. So I hired publicists to promote it. Since the beginning of the year I’ve done three radio interviews and one TV interview. I was nervous about them at first, but even before I sat for these interviews, I was at peace knowing that Jesus would guide me in what to say, if I did my preparation. I think they all went very well, amazingly. Never in my life had I ever pictured myself doing anything that public.
When we follow Jesus, we are never alone, no matter what happens to us in this life. He is there in the blessings and joy; He is with us in the challenges and pain that we might suffer. He never leaves our side. And when we join with others in sharing the truth about us, we are relieved of all burdens. Finally, we can be who we were created to be. Of course, as long as we are in this human body and living in this oh-so-human world, there will be times when we slip up, but all we have to do is to confess those sins/those errors and get back on the road to following Jesus. Just think: to never be alone again, to be supported through anything that happens to us, to be led step by step down this unknown path, to be loved and held, forgiven and blessed! What a journey it is in Jesus! His agenda for us is so much more natural to us than anything that the culture offers. And we thrive in following His will for us! Amen!
Questions to ponder over the week: Do I trust God and Jesus enough to trust Him with my life and purpose? Do I have the depth of relationship with Him that I recognize His suggestions to me? Am I following those suggestions, no matter what happens?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who trust and follow Jesus wherever He would lead us. May we find fulfillment and purpose in following Him.
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- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.