Being Real | UMC YoungPeople
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December 2015

Being Real

By Floyd Alcantara

We often put pastors, like myself, up on a pedestal: pastors should be holy and perfect; they’re not supposed to sin or make mistakes; they’re supposedly “bullet-proof” as if they couldn’t feel pain, sorrows, struggles. I am a pastor and that is not the case. I am not perfect. I commit sins, I make mistakes, and I am not exempted from hardships. Like everyone else, a pastor is a real person, a human being.

God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. God counts the stars by number, giving each one a name. Our Lord is great and so strong! God’s knowledge can’t be grasped! – Psalm 147:3-5

Just recently, my wife and I went through a season of grief and loss. My wife had a miscarriage during a very hard labor. While I was outside the operating room, I was texting people to pray for my wife and me. I was crying and I began to realize I needed help. I was brokenhearted. While I know I needed to be strong for my wife, I was also in pain, suffering emotionally, and I needed to be ministered to. During that time I told myself, I don’t have to be a pastor at this time, but a husband who is experiencing the pain of a loss together with his wife.

Thankfully, God was ever-present during those difficult times. I claimed God’s promise, found in Psalm 147:3-20, to heal the brokenhearted and binds up their wound: “Great is our Lord and abundant in power… God’s understanding is beyond measure.” I needed those words during that painful and confusing time, and I claimed them as God’s answer to our circumstances. I knew then that God would heal me and my broken heart; that He would bind up my wounds; that He would care, treat, and provide for me. I am grateful for how God used our family, friends and loved ones who – in one way or another – helped us in prayer and kind deeds.

You may be going through a tough time right now. This may be a season of brokenness for you, too. I want to tell you, it is okay to be real and vulnerable. Feel the pain and sorrow. Be broken before the Lord. Know that God is close to the brokenhearted. God will heal you, and God will take care of you. You may not know or understand the purpose of your circumstances. I tell you, it is okay to be confused and to struggle with God. God is great and powerful, and He knows what you are going through. His wisdom is beyond what our mind could ever grasp. Remember, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55: 8-9). As you go through a time of brokenness, respond by singing, praising and thanking God. Respond with reverence and hope. Others don’t have hope in God, but you do – we do.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you had a difficult time expressing your real feelings because people around you expect you to respond circumstances in certain ways?
  2. How can you express your real feelings? List down some ways that can help you be true to yourself.

See more devotions from Floyd and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself, at our Young Adult devotions page.

Young Adult Devotions by Floyd Alcantara.