In a world that is social media obsessed, it is so easy for us to hide behind the images we create and not put on display what is affecting us. We chase the busy, on-the-go lifestyles to neglect the stuff we sweep under the rug for so long. As I write this, I am reminded of Twitch, the famous DJ who worked on the Ellen Show. A man that many people assumed was filled with joy when, in fact, he carried despair.
The number of high school students who have considered suicide went up by 6% since 2011. Life comes with struggles and battles. We need to know it is okay to not be okay. You don’t need to have it all together. Scripture reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
God doesn’t discount our humanity. He understands when we go through hardships. He wants to be there for us through those moments of struggle but He is not a forceful God. He is never going to force us to receive help from Him. We must first acknowledge that we cannot do it on our own. Self-reliance will always lead us to temporal solutions.
When we rely on God, we have access to a kingdom that is unshakable. We serve a God who meets us right where we are and Who is unshaken by our mess. He values the inward parts of us…the parts of ourselves that we are afraid to share with the world. He wants us to rely on Him when things get rough. There is power in us being vulnerable before the Lord and the people He called us to be in community with.
True healing happens when we allow ourselves to be real with where we are. Constantly hiding our struggles and issues is like putting a Band-aid on a deep wound. It may help for a moment however, it does not lead to long-term restoration. God is in the long term when it comes to His children. He doesn’t want you to be healed for a moment but to be able to walk in the fullness of who Christ called you to be. If we choose not to be vulnerable in our struggles and hardship, it will lead to our own destruction.
Being vulnerable will give our community the ability to stand in the gap for us and help us through the hard times. You are not a burden when you share with your community what you’re going through. God designed us to be in a community so we can carry each other’s burdens and encourage each other to keep going. Vulnerability helps us be able to connect with others in a way that God desires. You are not alone in your struggles. What is personal is the most universal. Sharing within community what you’re going through could help others gain the confidence to do the same.
Steffany Gretzinger once said, “The enemy feasts on what we keep hidden from the Lord”. When we allow ourselves to hide what we’ve been going through, the enemy likes to come and torment us in those places. He brings insecurity, shame, fear and even condemnation.
The Lord wants His children to live an abundant life. I pray in this season of life you will find courage to be vulnerable and, through that, you will see God’s power at work.
Tyler Jones is Student Ministry Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-469-7775.