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ACW

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas, Vulnerability and Jesus by Lynda Alsford

As I prepare for this Christmas, I have been struck anew by the vulnerability of Jesus. He came to earth to be born as a baby to a young woman who was unmarried. Newborn babies are so totally dependant on others for all they need. It amazes me that the God of the universe allowed himself to be born as a human being, completely dependant on a young woman. Every need he had was dependant on human beings. 



I am sure we can all identify with feeling vulnerable at times. I know I can. I love that we have a God who gets that. We have a God who understand vulnerability from personal experience. That gives me hope and reassurance. I wonder how vulnerable Jesus felt in the garden of Gethsemane? He was sweating blood in his distress. He surrendered himself and his vulnerability to his Father God. He did it for us. From his vulnerability came great power through the cross. 




When I am weak, then I am strong
Paul talks about his vulnerability with his thorn in the flesh, in 2 Cor 12:7b-10


So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.   



Vulnerability is hard
One time when I have been vulnerable was writing about my crisis of faith for others to read. Although writing my story was cathartic, it also left me feeling very vulnerable. But good things have come from it. People have found encouragement in their own walk with God and I give thanks to Him for that. However, there is a downside to being vulnerable. 


I remember being in contact with someone from a Christian dating site. This man, who I had never met (just a couple of emails), in our first phone conversation got somewhat cross that I wouldn't answer his very personal questions about my private life. He thought he was entitled to know whatever he wanted because I had written a book opening up about other personal things. I felt uncomfortable about it for a while until I realised it was his problem and let it go. 



Huge benefits of vulnerability
Despite vulnerability having a negative side I think the huge benefits outweigh this for ourselves and especially for others. I've had people tell me my book helped them in their own faith difficulties. That means more than I can say  and makes being vulnerable worth while. And I for one am eternally grateful that the Son of God made himself so vulnerable that we might reap the benefits of God being our Emmanuel, being with us here on earth and giving us eternal life. 


As we approach Christmas this year, is there an area where we can perhaps emulate the vulnerability of Jesus, whether through our writing or in another way? It really does produce great fruit. 

Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving GP administrator and writes in her spare time. She has written two books, He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on  Amazon.co.uk  and  Amazon.com. She writes a newsletter  and a blog both called Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. Find about about these from www.seekingthehealer.com. You can also find out more about Lynda at  www.lyndaalsford.com


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