There are few things more difficult than putting yourself "out there." It's risky, it's scary, and it's nerve-wracking. You sing a solo at church, or you read a friend the poem you've been working on, or you agree to assume a leadership role in a new ministry. You start a new business, or you confess a secret sin to your pastor, or you finally ask that special someone the question you've wanted to ask for months.

In various ways we're all called to open ourselves up to other people. We make ourselves vulnerable by showing a side we've hidden, or by making a public commitment. It's risky because the possibility of failure is real. It's scary because we fear the unknown. And it's nerve-wracking because outside of an amusement park no one likes risky, scary situations.

Being vulnerable has become a spiritual exercise for me. I'm not by nature a public person, nor am I an outgoing, gregarious type that thrives in the spotlight. I'm far more comfortable sitting on the sidelines. God, however, seems to place little value on my comfort. Over and over, He's put me in situations that force me to open myself up and put myself "out there." I've helped build a huge web site, I've taught Bible classes, I've spoken to large crowds, I've lead worship, and now I'm even in a Christian rock band.

In each of these situations, I've been painfully, achingly aware of my inadequacies. Part of me wants to scream out, "You have no business here! What are you thinking? You're making a fool of yourself!" And chances are, I probably have made a fool of myself a time or two. Or three.

I'm acutely aware of all I can't do, or can't do well, or haven't done well, or won't ever get to do, or messed up trying to do — and I'm sure you could say the same about yourself. But God reminds me over and over that He can still work with me. And if I won't risk my heart, I'll never gain a thing.

Faith is risky. Life is risky. Growth is risky. Honesty requires vulnerability. Building relationships requires vulnerability. And excellence requires vulnerability.

Ephesians 1:20 has provided the confidence I've needed whenever I'm facing something new and risky:

"... How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God. That power is the same divine energy which was demonstrated in Christ when he was raised from the dead..."

Faith is risky. Life is risky. Growth is risky.
That's some potent stuff! Forget "horsepower," that's real Godpower. The divine power of the resurrection is more than enough to conquer a little stagefright. The supernatural animating force that raised Jesus from the dead can certainly help me share my heart. And that same Godpower is available to help you face whatever is confronting you right now.

The ministry of Heartlight is one of those risks I'm taking. It's not easy to write articles like this one, or to create art & images that open me up to criticism. And it can be especially scary at times to put my financial needs in the hands of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Right now Heartlight stands on uncertain financial ground, and we're facing some tough decisions. But I'm fully convinced that the Lord can and does provide and protect.

Please, as you are praying for God's power to help you in your situation, please spare a prayer or two for our ministry. And if you would like to open yourself up a bit and share your prayer requests with me via email, I commit to personally praying for each and every one I receive.

We can all use some of that Godpower!