By Bill Lawrence - President of Leader Formation International
There are times when I find myself in Heart Break Corner, the very deepest part of my being.
All leaders must find themselves here because we cannot be ourselves without forming our identities through the struggles and pain that comes through this hurt.
I don’t want to be there, but I cannot avoid or escape it. I am there because that’s where I have experienced the most painful moments in my life: the loss of someone who is more than precious to me. It is the loss of a dad or mom as or a leader who formed me and made me who I am and helped form my identity. In those moments I sense a loss I cannot deny or escape.
I’m sure you have had this same experience. We cannot avoid loss. I did not know about that corner early in my life because I did not have mother or father until I was five years old and I did not know what they mean in life. I was past seventy when I began to explore their value to me. Perhaps you have had a similar experience. If you haven’t, start now and do not be afraid to explore yourself because the Lord will guide you through it. For me that was when I started to understand that I live parts of my life in Heart Break Corner and that this was vital to help me understand myself and those I serve as a leader. Don’t be afraid of Heart Break Corner.
Heart break is never far away, either for us who have lost a most precious loved one or for those who have lived a life of unfairness and injustice. Sin is real and many forms of sin bring pain for every one of us. Unless we face it, we live a make-belief life of denial, a make-belief life that causes us to lead our followers over the cliffs of false success from which there is no recovery.
Heart Break Corner is a special place deep within us where grief goes and settles in and is always present. We know it’s there. We sense it, feel it, we grasp it, and are overwhelmed by it, even when we don’t sense it. It’s just there. Always.
Gradually it becomes still and eventually silent within us, although it takes time to be an innate part of us. It’s there just the same, even when it’s silent, and we sense it, even as we go to sleep at night or when we are stirred by it in our sleep in the middle of the night or just as we are waking up at dawn or in the super market while we are shopping or when we are driving on the freeway or walking on a dirt road in the country or suddenly while we are watching TV. It just shows up whether we want it to or not. We suddenly find ourselves in Heart Break Corner. Heart break is a core part of us. We have to settle it, though, because we can’t live and work and relate to others and be normal and lead our family unless we can get over grief, so we work our way through it and strive to move forward.
Along our way, though, we have a natural question we ask the Lord. Why? It certainly is my question at times in my life. Why is it that a talented brother or sister is suddenly taken from us? Why are we so short on funds while the evil have so much? Why is there so much wickedness around us? Why is it we see someone who was good and think, “He was so good. Effective, caring, so much a man or woman. So much a shepherd. Engaged in the lives of so many. We don’t get it! Why did he have to go? And so soon.” This is a thought we often have. Rarely do we get a full answer, at least not for a longer time than we want. The amazing reality is that while we struggle, we also bear fruit we would not bear without our struggle. So the Lord uses the painful seasons of our lives to make His differences through us, but we can’t know this at first. We have to trust our Lord through it. That’s what the cross and the grave and the resurrection is all about; that’s what our growth is all about; that’s what it takes to be a leader. That’s what following Jesus is all about.
There is something I want to accomplish to be a Jesus kind of leader. I want to form leaders who pursue Christ’s purpose in the lives I wish to influence because no one could do more. I want them to be men and women of prayer, of the Word, of love, of influence, difference makers in every way, the kind of leader I want to be in the Lord, and the kind of leaders I want to reproduce. No one could do more and no one could ever want to be less. So, this is my passion, my drive, and what I want to say about the leaders I influence through radical and desperate dependence on the Lord.
But we, you and I, will only do this by living regularly in Heart Break Corner as our lives demand and should because that is where we find the Lord Himself grieving us, comforting us, strengthening us, enabling us to be He is leaders, honoring us even as we call on Him.
So we weep as Jesus wept at the loss of human life or the painfulness of earthly reality, yet we also rejoice as Jesus rejoiced, because He saw Lazarus come forth from the dead in the promise of eternal life. Thus, it is that we weep over the loss of earthly life but we rejoice at the promise of eternal life. For this reason, we rejoice in Heart Break Corner even as we weep, because it not only speaks of earthly death but also of eternal life. And that is what I think of when I remember the promise of Jesus and eternal life. I encourage you to see life in this same way because there will be joy for all who trust in Him when you see Jesus. Then we will all be together in His eternal joy before His throne and on His golden streets.
Published on Aug 28 @ 9:24 AM CDT