“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Connection. We all crave it. We all want it. We all dream of it. It is why we were created! If you are like me however...and probably 99% of the population, genuine connection with others and God, can be difficult at times to achieve.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself whether or not you are a vulnerable person?
I always believed I was, that is until recently. I always had it in my mind that I was a sharer, an “open book” who was always willing to share with whoever inquired about my life. It was not until last month that I realized that although I share my life with people I am not vulnerable with them. They don’t know my struggles or my fears. I don’t always let people into my hopes and dreams, and I rarely share my raw emotions. Why? Because I am afraid that if I show my deepest needs and desires and show who I truly am, “warts and all,” I will not be accepted.
We live in a world today where showing your “weaknesses” means that you will most likely be taken advantage of. Showing sadness, anger, or fear, will bring about rejection. And to live an exposed life is everyone’s nightmare. Yet this worldly perspective is completely the opposite of the Kingdom of God. In this passage in 2 Corinthians, Paul is being vulnerable with his audience in sharing that he had been asking the Lord multiple times to take away something that brought him great pain and torment. While we do not know what that thing is, we see that he is being open with us about how he felt, how he pleaded with God to take it away, and at the end of the day how God responded to him.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.””
God’s POWER is made PERFECT in WEAKNESS.
Paul was vulnerable with his Heavenly Father, and in turn, his Father encouraged him, saying that He shines brighter and stronger in Paul’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. So Paul handed his pain over, rejoiced and boasted about his weaknesses, and God’s glory and power shone through him even more. Paul became fully dependent on God to help him through his pain, and God did.
God wants dependency on Him. He wants intimacy with us. And He wants to shine through our insecurities and weaknesses. Did you know that the very meaning of the word vulnerable in the dictionary is “to become susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm; to become unguarded and defenseless?” Our Father wants us to become unguarded and exposed so that he can be our greatest guardian and defender. The more real you are and the more you accept yourself for who you are, the more you will reflect God’s grace, his power, and his love!
Still think you are a vulnerable person?
Let’s go through a quick activity. Read the questions below and answer Yes or No:
Have you shared a fear with someone recently?
Have you told someone about your biggest dream or goal?
Have you shared your wounds and hurts with God or someone you know?
Have you shared a shortcoming with your spouse?
How about a sin struggle?
When was the last time you told your significant other or a friend that something they did hurt your feelings?
Have you expressed your needs to God or your closest people?
If you answered No to any of the above, maybe that is an area that God is challenging you to be vulnerable and open in! If you said Yes to any of the questions, that is great! You are on the road to vulnerability and allowing God to work through that! James 5:16 tells us to “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” (MSG)
God is waiting for you to be authentic and vulnerable with him AND with others, so what is stopping you!?
Whatever is holding you back, whether it be shame, fear of rejection, fear of not being loved, or fear of abandonment, remember that your Heavenly Father wants closeness with you more than you can understand. He created you to be YOU. Unashamedly YOU. To share your truest self with God and with your closest people IS to love and be loved. I challenge all of us to be more vulnerable today and every day. The road to vulnerability is not easy, but it is so rewarding to be known and loved. You are worthy of that Beloved. Let’s take a risk together and allow God to move and work through us and in us. Be brave and let those walls come on down.
Father, I thank you. I thank you for your son Jesus who came to die for me so that I may have intimate and vulnerable relationship with you and those around me. I thank you for the sacrifice that was made so that this could be possible. Father I pray that your Spirit reveal to me areas in which I can more vulnerable in, not just with others but with you. Show me the things that have been hidden. Show me what needs to be brought into the light. I want full healing Lord. A full life. And I ask that you guide me to that place of extreme vulnerability and exposure with you. I thank you and pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.