Crushed

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ."

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

- Paul to the church in Corinth


We pray before almost every group meeting with corporate clients and before every scheduled one-on-one.  There is a very specific prayer process that we walk through on our own before we sit down with pretty much anyone.  We learned it through a very mature ministry and it has been immensely helpful.  (Let me know if you are interested and we’ll share it with you). 

It is meant to calm, center, and get ourselves clear enough to be able to offer the clarity we are hired to bring.  It is a prayer process that brings strength, protection, and appropriation to everything.  Increasingly, we are getting an advance understanding of where we need to go with our clients, as well as:

  • a preternatural understanding of an issue that we need to address…
  • the noise we need to sift through to get to the real issue…
  • what they need help seeing that they cannot see on their own…

Lately, there has been another general overarching theme:

Before we do anything else with the leaders or their teams, we are finding ourselves reminding them of everything good going on around them.  We are centering them in hope.  Hope is the currency of change. 

If we lose hope, we lose heart.  

Everyone in our families or in our companies are looking to us to know that despite all the chaos and uncertainty, everything is going to be okay.  Despite how hard-pressed we seem to feel in almost every category, they need us to be hopeful and whole hearted.

If we lose hope, it is nearly impossible to believe that change is possible.

And if we don’t believe change is possible, it isn’t.

So we are spending time on the category of hope and helping them remember everything that is good.

Because in many ways we are as fragile as jars of clay. We are…

  • Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed. 
  • Perplexed, but not in despair. 
  • Persecuted, but not abandoned.
  • Struck down, but not destroyed.

Despite the fact that we are super invigorated to work with companies on their organizational health, help them build great leadership teams, establish a clear vision, build strategic plans and organizational structures to realize their intended futures - if we don’t first root them in hope (the currency of change), all that potential good rolls like water off a duck’s back.

Because if they don’t believe change is possible, it isn’t.

Maybe that is why so many leaders listen, read, and attend so many things, but see so little real measurable change.  They’ve lost hope.  They’ve lost heart.  And without that, change isn’t going to happen.  That may also explain why the intentional prayer we do before every meeting seems to be leading us there.

Restoration from everything as it is, to what it is intended to most gloriously become, is the major theme of the gospel.  It is the hope that surpasses most of our understanding.  It has never been more difficult (or more essential) to hold onto.  

I feel like I am fighting for it in every conversation.

Consider

  • Are you able to notice and celebrate the good things going on around you?
  • Are you able to hold onto the hope that is necessary for real change?
  • Are your children and employees feeding on your sense of hope and belief that change is possible?
  • Who do you have in your life that is helping (even requiring) that you fight for that?