God’s Crushings

Last month, I wrote 3 Steps I’m Taking to Manage Stress Better (one additional step was the vacation that ended yesterday). In the days ahead, I will be writing more about my experiences and learnings over the last five weeks, starting with this one.

This morning, while praying, I remembered listening to Chuck Swindoll’s talk at Catalyst 2009 (via DVD) sometime last year. I listened to it again today, and took the following notes.

Swindoll spoke at Catalyst, a leadership conference for young leaders. Every year, they honor a seasoned leader. In 2009, they honored Chuck Swindoll. In his talk, Swindoll offered wisdom from his fifty years in ministry and leadership.

Swindoll talked about listening to a preacher (Allan Redpath) in chapel when he was student at Dallas Theological Seminary around fifty years ago. One statement has stuck with Swindoll through the years …

When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible person, and crushes him (or her).

In reflecting on God’s crushings, Swindoll challenged young leaders …

Leave room in your life for the crushings, because that’s part of the curriculum that very few people will tell you about. That’s part of the plan of God that will equip you to do what he will have you to do as you carry out his work, his way.

Further, Swindoll noted …

Rarely does God bring a person out of youth and immediately trust that individual with a vast sense of leadership. It takes crushing. It takes time. It takes disappointments. It takes failure.

Later in the message, Swindoll stated that “brokenness and failure are necessary” in our formation as leaders.

Well, Swindoll is right. This is part of the leadership journey few talk about. And for good reason. It’s not the most enjoyable part of the journey!

For more on this idea, see my post, It Takes 20 Years to Make a Sermon.

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