Being perfect in weakness is not something we would rather think of when it comes to serving God. How often do we only want to “show” our best side? Especially those of us who are in leadership positions, who are regularly in front of others as teachers, singers and ministers. There is a strong desire to be our very best and only portray the best we are. But could God use our own weaknesses to touch the lives of others?
Holding the Light
Seldom do we dare let others in our lives especially in our times of vulnerability. It seems these are the most challenging times of all. In fact more effort may be put into keeping an overall image of excellence so much so we fail to see the damage we are actually doing to those who God is calling upon to follow us as we follow Christ.
We are determined to hold the light of the gospel but seldom show when our own strength has failed us and how the gospel applies to us today. Then we suffer all alone, not because others would not be glad to be there for us but rather because we never allowed them to.
Let the very light you desire to hold shine right now as you consider the following examples I present to you.
The Shame of Vulnerability
On our current mission field. Emotional challenges grew so strong in my own heart and I could not hold it in any longer. I tried, I really tried not to let personal matters spill over in our ministering to the lives of the people God had given us.
But the tension was there and I completely lost it. Right at that very moment the woman God has called me to disciple, walked in for that evening’s Bible study. Her husband, Armando, who arrived earlier, was there along with two other men my husband has been discipling.
It was a tense spiritual time in our family. I was halfway down the stairs facing them having said some words to my own husband and why I felt so discouraged that the “show” must go on and I began to weep profusely.
Next thing I knew Mercedes was right in front of me her arms embracing me then she backed up to look me in the face that I tried hiding in shame. She put her right hand in the center of my chest and said these words, “There Ann, peace be still. Be still, it will be alright.”
I felt so bad. We spent over an hour together locked in a room where Mercedes now ministered to me. She was so willing to be a blessing to me but my shame would scarcely allow her in. God in his mercy would deal with me again to break down my walls.
The Blessing of Being Perfect in Weakness
It was a few weeks later the aftermath of what remained of that day seem to come up again. This time it was in private between my husband and I. I was to the point that I no longer felt my Lord’s presence.
It was unlike my husband but he made the decision to call Armando and Mercedes to come over to the house. I was in such a pitiful state and in no way able to be much for Mercedes at that time. I knew based on God’s word that He never leaves us nor forsakes us but I felt his presence was gone.
Mercedes showed up, while I was on the floor sitting in utter defeat. All I could think of, “Lord you know my desire is to follow you. You have been teaching me to die to self. Must you leave me now?”
One quick look up to see Mercedes face. My head dropped in shame I told my husband, “Not now, why did you call them? I cannot speak to her now.” But little did I realize this was one of those moments my Lord would make me perfect in weakness through his abounding grace for Mercedes.
My husband lovingly helped me to my feet, told Mercedes to come in and then left us in private in our room. There was a bit of silence then Mercedes surprised me when she said,
“I know this is going to sound strange, but I am so glad I can see you this way. I am so glad I can come and minister to you. I don’t know if you understand what I am saying but seeing you like this and being here for you is a blessing to me.”
Opening a Window
Later, I discovered that what Mercedes was saying is she thought I was a super Christian, untouched by the infirmities of this life. Mercedes explained that when she saw my vulnerability, “Ann, at that moment I knew you were flesh and blood like I am. And that you struggle like I do.”
I smiled at her as we talked at our favorite coffee shop hearing her tell me this. I also chuckled because I had a similar thought about a dear lady I admire very much.
Not long before meeting with Mercedes at the coffee shop I had called this precious lady I admire, not something I normally do but my Lord laid it on my heart to call, to find out if everything was alright with them. They had published a prayer request a few days prior of being ill. So in my heart’s concern and Lord’s leading I called to get a brief update.
Their phone rang a child answered and I could hear noise in the background. It was such a familiar sound of busy children in the background, a sound I have become accustomed to in our own home. A sound that I hear when I call my missionary friend here in Nicaragua with her houseful of 11 children.
To my surprise her child passed the phone to her and for the first time I spoke with her. Yes, I truly admire this woman of God and as I spoke with her I knew she is flesh and blood, dealing with the day to day things of being a wife and mother. It was a blessing she opened that window of opportunity for me in her private life.
As Mercedes and I talked about the events between her and I and the events between the lady I admire and myself. We both rejoiced in how that when we, who are in a position of authority in the lives of others, are perfect in weakness as God allows those windows of opportunity to be vulnerable to the other person who is learning from us. God then uses this in their lives to open their heart more to the Lord.
How incredible to think that as God grows us in grace and knowledge putting us before others who are in need and who will, in no doubt, look up to us, that our Lord entrust us with their heart.
Leveraging Your Position for the Glory of God
I have seriously been thinking of how much we can leverage our position of authority in the lives of others for the glory of God.
In fact the following thought came across my mind as I was writing out my recent business plan, “I truly believe, it is essential to understand that one can leverage a position of greatness to be a humble servant to mankind.¨ -a personal thought by Ann Marie Moore
Arun Adrews so eloquently describes in the following video how our great God leveraged his position authority in humility to impact the lives of so many.
May we, may you desire to be just as your beloved Lord “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Phil 2:6,7
Yes, God may have blessed you to be a teacher, a singer, or a minister may you desire to be perfect in weakness, with all humility allowing others to see your vulnerability that God may be glorified.