August 25, 2015 Riley

In my previous article Decision Making Part 1: The Lord’s Way is the Hard Way I discussed how it’s difficult to listen to what God says and actually act upon His counsel.  In a way, I explained very briefly why, but the reason comes down to vulnerability.  How does vulnerability tie into this?  Well it ties into many things in our everyday lives but especially to our decisions.  I want to discuss how vulnerability is an attribute of our Heavenly Father.  This concept was originally discussed by Terryl and Fiona Givens in their book The God Who Weeps.  I will talk about it in my own words and from my perspective.

Being vulnerable isn’t a great feeling, I am assuming many people will agree with this.  Who likes to feel open, exposed, unprotected or helpless?  I am guessing very few people.  It’s as if you are an open soccer goal without any defense or goalie.  The feeling of insecurity can also be a synonym to vulnerability.  There are many people out there that would rather shut off than to open up a little.  Granted we can all be guilty of this at times, but some have a harder time.  Being vulnerable could turn someone away from their faith.  The thought of not “knowing” all the answers is uncomfortable, we like to know it all these days.  Faith is vulnerable, it is exposed to so much.  Being in a relationship is exposing your true self to someone, isn’t that uncomfortable?  I saw this quote on social media a while back and I am unsure who or where it was from but it went like this, “love is trusting someone with the power to completely destroy you but trusting they don’t.”  Opening the heart is hard.  It is much easier to close it and answer with a superficial, “I am doing good” when someone asks how you are.  It is easier to do what you want and follow your closed heart, that way you don’t get hurt by anyone only yourself.  I imagine vulnerability as a person who is stranded in the ocean with nothing to protect themselves.  Floating there, helpless in open shark infested water you are slowly dripping blood.  How scary is that?  No wonder it is easier to just close off and not expose yourself.  Could it be important to embrace your vulnerability?  I think so.

Answering the call to God requires stepping out of our comfort zones and into the zone of vulnerability.  It isn’t easy to want to do that.  He asks of us everything and we only want to give some, He wants us to go down this road and we turn around, He asks us to speak and we zip our lips.  We don’t like to be vulnerable, that’s why it’s a big pill to swallow when God is speaking to us.  We know we should, we feel it deep down but we can’t cross that threshold of comfort.  The decision to be vulnerable is hard and undesired.  If we could only accept our vulnerabilities we would be able to do the will of our Father in Heaven much easier.  Heck, I think it would make our relationships, jobs, schooling, and progress much easier. To be vulnerable is to be real and being real with yourself is true authenticity.  Numbing our vulnerabilities also numbs everything else: joy, emotion, happiness, or gratitude says Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Huston Graduate Program in the College of Social Work.  (The power of vulnerability)

Being vulnerable is another way to show faith.  You make yourself uncomfortable for results you do not perceive immediately.  God is the only one who can demand this type of risk.  He is the most vulnerable person.  As Terry and Fiona Givens put it, “God’s pain is as infinite as His love.”  Think about it, God has to witness His children go through some of the most excruciating pain, discomfort, and loss.  His children deny Him, curse Him, hate Him, defy Him, and misuse what is His.  As Job asked, “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?” (Job 7:17)   Our Heavenly Father set His heart upon us, He is 100%  invested in our lives, He put everything into the plan that is supposed to save us.  He has it all on the line and how many of us miss the mark?  How do you think that feels our infinitely loving Heavenly Father?  He has shown His sorrow by weeping over us.  In Moses we read, “And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; :and Enoch bore record of it…” (Moses 7:28)  The prophet Enoch saw God crying and asked, “How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?…How is it thou canst weep?” (Moses 7:29-31)  God’s heartfelt response is this, “The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;”  Our Heavenly Father feels for us not because of our wickedness   but because of our misery due to the bad things we live with, from our decisions or those made by others.  Our Heavenly Father is the most vulnerable part of our equation, “He has a lot more riding on us than we do,” said my grandfather one day while we were talking.  The connection will grow so much if we opened up to God like He is to us. Vulnerability is Godlike. 

Our vulnerability is not something we should bury deep down and hope people don’t see it, rather it should be embraced each day.  The more we are able to accept our vulnerabilities the further we will progress in anything, especially our spiritual life.  God will be able to do so much more with us if we follow His counsel given by His son Jesus Christ when He commands, “And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit…” (3 Nephi 9:20) In other words be open to His counsel, be vulnerable.  The possibilities are unlimited and right within our reach. The next installment will discuss how to accept our own vulnerabilites.

Be Happy. Be Vulnerable.

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