That was the title of one of the sermons i heard last week at redeemer church. I admit my mind drifted in and out of the visiting pastors talk but i did catch some important points. As a therapist, my job is to foster an environment safe enough that the client feels free to "let down his guard" and tell me about what's going on. Well, i ask? How did "the guard" get there in the first place? There are numerous reasons but one i am sure exists is the persistent and unhealthy idea that we (in this world) are supposed to AND have the capability to have it all together. Oh and sure, all the presbyterians in the world will give you the reformed, catechism, memorized scripture answer that the world is fallen and we are all sinners--we all fall short. Amen! I am with you, my fellow presbyterians and lovers of Christ. But that knowledge does not penetrate into our daily lives. At least not in mine.
I had a really good talk with my parents a while back. It was probably the most vulnerable talk i've had with them in awhile. in this discussion, I was able to tell them how much seeing them struggle through losing their house in hurricane katrina affected me. What was interesting about this was that they had no idea! Why? Because i couldn't show how hurt i was. I had a strong part of me saying I had to be very strong b/c I needed to be a support or at least a witness to them. I really struggled not to cry around them. This back-fired of course b/c i found that it was too hard to be around them and not hurt....so i stayed away. My self-made gospel steered clear of vulnerability and pushed me down the "safe" road of pretense.
What is so great and attractive about the gospel of Christ is that he knows my weaknesses. I cannot not nor would i chose to color who i am before him. I want him to know all my junk so that it can get His Healing attention. But when it comes to loving others, i usually have it all wrong when i think that showing others how strong i am will speak loudly of who the Lord is and why I love Him. However, what speaks more loudly is that when I am weakest (devastated, hurt, tearful, insecure, and afraid), the Lord's strength shines all the more brightly.
So, I will admit that I am not a super-Christian and in the same breath confess that I am a wanna-be. Life is just so much more black and white without uncovering the messes that people really deal with in themselves and their lives and their past. I want to believe that life is uncomplicated if i follow rule a,b, and c. That my marriage is safe b/c i have read so and so book or that i will be a good therapist b/c i subscribe to the "right" kind of theory. I can still catch myself trying to live in denial of that truth. I must only remember the theme of my year (and the theme of the pastor's sermon), "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." I Corinthians 12:9.
i could go on and on but i am feeling self-conscious that i've lost all of your attention by the 2nd paragraph. (how's that for weakness and vulnerability?!)
CJ Mahaney’s Christmas Book List 2017
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