Deep Strength, Part 4: Deep Vulnerability

“Deep Vulnerability” is a one-day quiet time in which we examine the life and faith of Hannah in chapters 1 thru 3 of I Samuel.
Listen to this devotional

Browse series:

  1. Introduction: Deep Strength
  2. Feature: Deep Strength
  3. Deep Humility
  4. Deep Vulnerability
  5. Deep Priority
  6. Deep Friendship
  7. Deep Endurance
  8. Deep Church

Spiritual reflection:

LORD, have mercy on me. I’m in deep trouble. I’m so sad I can hardly see. My whole body grows weak with sadness. [10] Pain has taken over my life. My years are spent in groaning. I have no strength because I’m hurting so much. My body is getting weaker and weaker.

Psalm 31:9-10 NIrV

Spiritual questions:

  • Identify 3 dominant positive and negative emotions you have been experiencing.
  • What sadness or pain among these emotions is weakening you?
  • Can you describe in writing how easy or difficult it is for you to be emotionally vulnerable?

Spiritual prayer:

The goal of this prayer is to identify and find encouragement from those things which are producing positive emotions. At the same time, we want to target the source of negative emotions, which may be weakening you spiritually. These are things which you might be avoiding or even hiding because the sadness and pain involved are too great.

Vulnerability is about diving deep into the sad and painful places. The courage to tackle these areas comes from our faith that God is stronger than our weakness, capable of healing our pain, and turning our sadness into joy.

Unfortunately, if we never share these things with ourselves let alone God and people, there is very little hope we will ever develop “Deep Strength.”

Take the time to pray to unearth whatever issues are draining your strength, and then ask God for help to become strong.

Spiritual commitment:

“Deep Vulnerability” is a one-day quiet time in which we examine the life and faith of Hannah in chapters 1 thru 3 of I Samuel. Hannah is unmatched in Scripture when it comes to vulnerability and emotional honesty, and what is most important about her expressiveness to God is it moved Him to action.

God heard Hannah’s pain, discouragement, and disillusionment and the strong faithfulness giving voice to her prayer. Hannah proves we can be ‘spiritually strong’ even when we are ‘life weak.’ As a result, she was blessed to have a son, who would become the transformative leader Israel needed, as well as many other children.

Spiritual conversation:

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— [12] that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Romans 1:11-12 NIV

“Deep Vulnerability” should not merely be about unearthing emotions. Unleashing torrents of emotionalism is easy for me, and probably for you as well. The value of “Deep Vulnerability” is we learn to express our emotions to God, so when we speak with people we can be deeply honest without becoming emotionally exhausting.

When we learn how to communicate our emotions in this spiritual way, it allows us to build emotionally deep relationships without them becoming self-indulgent. The problem with emotional self-indulgence is it puts us at the center rather than God, turning our relationships into ‘unlicensed therapy sessions’ rather than spiritually transformative friendships.

Your goal after this quiet time is to spend time with spiritual friends, expressing the depth of your heart with all the accompanying emotions, while keeping God at the center. This will drive out the temptation to become negative about our difficulties instead of faithful, and allow us to spend time unselfishly listening to our friend encouraging them to embrace the spiritual power of “Deep Vulnerability.”

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