The Sacred Dance of Shared Surrender
December 24, 2018
Verse for the Week: Galatians 6:2; “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
After years of ‘going it alone’ one thing I am sensitive to around this time of year is how need can make even the strongest of us feel weak and vulnerable. Somehow I am more aware of my need than ever before. And it makes me kinda crazy.
You see, we are built tough. Especially those of us who have traveled the difficult terrain of life and have learned to be survivors.
Even so, I think we are missing the boat on God’s design. Galatians 6:2 make’s it very clear we are to share the weight of each other’s burdens for this fulfills the law of Christ. In other words, this is proof of His command to love.
He designed us for intimacy and connection, but vulnerability is the key component whether we like it or not. And if you are anything like me then you associate vulnerability with weakness. Yet when you dissect vulnerability it looks nothing like weakness.
Vulnerability is the place where courage confronts fear. So in order to be vulnerable, we must stretch beyond our fear of being known even when it’s painful. And there’s nothing weak about that!
Because being vulnerable is painful, we tend to get stuck in the practice of pretense. We fear our need is a burden to others so we pretend all is okay when it’s not. We hide behind masks of makeup, busyness, work, and pride only to suffer in silence.
Yet the world’s way and God’s way are quite different. We are called to carry each other’s burdens, and yet, most of us instinctively revert to an isolated walk when we experience pain or shame, heartache or hopelessness.
We do this because our anticipation of being vulnerable is often more dramatic than the reality itself. We fit and falter through presumptions and rehearse worse-case scenarios only to run for the hills and hide safely behind our well-versed self-sufficiency. But then we miss opening the gift within which is the proof of love.
Although love is strengthened by words, it is proved by action.
When God calls us to share burdens, He is calling us to prove our love. To stand in our truth and be vulnerable. To stand in another’s truth and their vulnerability. Although this can be quite uncomfortable, it is in the stretch that we experience what it means to love and be loved. To accept and be accepted. To know and be known.
It is often through the stretch and the struggle where we develop our strength.
Yes, there’s a risk to vulnerability. We have to trust others to guard our brokenness knowing they could disappoint us. Regardless, when we engage in the dance of surrender and lean into the other person, not only will we experience the proof of love, but we will see first hand what grace means and what mercy looks like.
In order to share in this sacred dance of surrender, we must seek Christ first because ‘Christ in us’ means we are an extension of Him, and this gives us the ability to be more to others than we can be on our own, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
I believe if you look around there are a few strategic people in your life. People you can trust with sharing a burden or two.
Don’t miss the blessing God has for you by hiding in the shadow of denial, comfort, or self-sufficiency. Assess your need and receive from God first. He will lead and equip you to lean into those who are strategically placed in your path for a purpose.
Here are a few examples of strategic relationships, and what could have been missed had they refused the sacred dance of shared surrender:
Elisha could have missed the miracles God performed for his mentor (Elijah) had he gone his own way.
David could have missed the blessing of honoring his oath to Jonathan by caring for his crippled son had he let fear rob him of duty.
Ruth would have missed her place in the lineage of Jesus had she not clung to Naomi.
John, the beloved disciple, would have missed his call to care for Jesus’ mother had he not been at the foot of the cross.
Loyalty is not found in the worthiness of one another but more about sharing in a sacrificial act of love. There is a reciprocity of surrender. An exchange of grace. Going the hard way, even when the easier way makes more sense.
As we celebrate Christ this week let us remember that He emerged from the confines of heaven to meet us in our need. To fulfill and prove His great law of love.
Perhaps it’s time for us to emerge from the confines of control and share a burden with someone we trust. It’s here, in the sacred dance of surrender where we discover the power of vulnerability and the proof of love.
Lord God, being vulnerable is so difficult for me but I know this is how you designed us. Give me courage to confront my fears and wisdom to know who I can trust. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Are you currently struggling with a private place of vulnerability in yourself or someone else? Ask God for courage to confront your fears, and wisdom for engaging in the sacred dance of shared surrender.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone.
All my best, and Merry Christmas!