Another winter storm has hit our area and we have yet to find out if this will be anything significant or if it will just be a day of shoveling and ice removal and then we're back to normal. Normal, for us here in the North, is a variety of things, but one thing it's not is sunshine and sweet breezes. Not in the winter, at least.
When I brought up the topic of vulnerability the other day, I guess I was indirectly trying to grapple with the issue of "What is normal or healthy?" concerning vulnerability, and there was some resulting comments that made us look at two things. There's our vulnerability to people, and then there's vulnerability with God.
I'm not so sure the word transparency is exactly equal in meaning with the word vulnerability, and I bring that up only because Christians seem to value some degree of transparency and accountability with each other. Scripture seems to indicate we should have the type of relationships where there is some give and take going on in what we see in each other, how we help each other (remembering to take the plank out of our own eye first before we remove the splinter in some one's eye, for example).
I've been transparent with people, some times more than others, in some settings more than in other settings. I've been glad I've been transparent, and then there have been times I wasn't rosy with joy at the outcome when I shared freely. That's life. That's how the cookie crumbles, I think. But I've never really doubted that transparency and relational honesty isn't good for me. I know its a good thing.
Being vulnerable with people is, I think, a whole 'nother thing. The word suggests a complete openness and exposure of self as in the case of a deer out in an open field on the first day of hunting season. Nothing glorious or good would happen to that deer based on its vulnerability to the hunters.
But with God, I would dare to be that deer in the open field and let Him be the hunter. He doesn't hunt with a gun. God is the Hound of Heaven after our heart. He's the lover of our soul and I don't think we're aware of that enough. If we were, we would be freely open and trusting and expose all of who we are to Him.
I don't think we make ourselves vulnerable with God unless we are absolutely assured that nothing negative can come from this act. If we make ourselves vulnerable with friends or family, or are exposed to human opinion and perspective, our vulnerability can result in some negative, terrible outcomes as well as positive beautiful results.
But there is nothing negative, hurtful or damaging- ever- that occurs when we make ourselves vulnerable with God. It is absolutely impossible to receive harm from Him when we are drawing close to Him. And one thought that I recently had due to something I heard in one of Dave Schmelzer's sermons is that God is attracted to our faith exerted, to our reaching out for Him. He finds our faith almost "irresistible".
Perhaps one aspect, one flavor of faith, is vulnerability. God might just find our vulnerability irresistible. I expose my weaknesses in God's sight and I bring myself before Him without any hiding, fudging, twisting of the truth. I make myself vulnerable and open before God. I do this out of faith. I might initially want to shrink back and not do this (make myself vulnerable) if I fear a "Holy God of Wrath" and do not see Him as the Abba Father who makes us right in His sight, who knows all about my weaknesses before I have verbally shared with Him what I painfully "see" about myself. But we are not of those who shrink back and are afraid, Scripture says. We are not.
We are bold as a lion, and as wide open before Him as trusting children who fear absolutely nothing from the One who loves them without end. It's a joy to be vulnerable when you are with Someone who can not, in their own nature, take advantage of your state and make you rue the day you trusted Him. THAT will never happen when you make yourself vulnerable to God.
All this to let you know that I have enjoyed the most amazing week or two. I've had more joy and lightness of being than I've had in a long time. Not that any major big things have happened, but there's been an increasing pull towards God's perspective of me and an accompanying willingness on my part to go for broke, loosen up and let it all out. With God. I'm not sure that I'm sharing any more than I normally do, or that I'm being any more honest with Him than I normally am.
It's more that I'm sharing everything with Him in a way that speaks boldness and trust even as I am wide open and exposed. I'm conscious that I am willingly making myself vulnerable in His presence. And yet there's a sense that He drew me in with absolute reassurance that nothing but good would come from this type of engagement with Him.
God made it a win-win situation for me. He's just too amazing for words.