Elephants are the largest land mammals in the world. They are ancient, unique and amazing to watch. My family and I had the opportunity to be up close to two females elephants last year. We got to learn cool facts and even touch them. It was fascinating to see them up close and feel the texture of their skin. I also got to see elephants in South Africa while on a safari. They are massive, can’t miss animals. But imagine if they were pink? If this was the case, I’m sure the brightness when the sun hit their skin would be blinding! I know this is totally fantasy, but stay with me!
There are things in our lives and our world that are a Pink Elephant, staring us down and demanding our attention both personally and collectively. However, we have this amazing ability to ignore these Pink Elephants as we navigate our lives the best we can. These realities can range from global poverty to modern day slavery, racism, injustice or the hidden truths within us.
We use the phrase Pink Elephant to describe an obvious topic begging to be addressed and dealt with. But this phrase exists because so many of us choose not to stare back at the Pink Elephant. I don’t mean this to be a criticism, but rather a statement of truth. As we get more hooked on our phones, iPads, MacBooks and TVs, it’s becoming easier to ignore the giant topics facing us, our families, our nation and our world. There is freedom in tackling the Pink Elephant of our lives. And after that, we can take on what is around us.
A reality of all humanity is that we have weaknesses. In fact, I believe they are perfect weaknesses because Jesus gives us grace in these areas. Our culture teaches us to bury our weaknesses, to cover them up with a variety of tactics so that we are “better” than our neighbor. It’s like a nagging bug that plagues our confidence. As we try to prove how strong, how great and how smart we are, we end up hiding the issues that creep up in our lives. Unfortunately, this leads many people to never honestly open up with a trusted person. This trick from the enemy decays faith, ruins families and crushes hope. If we don’t open up, those against us will shut us down. When we ignore the Pink Elephant of our weaknesses, and hope no one knows the truth, we are destined to lose the battle within.
But there is a better way!
Jesus came and laid out a new culture that accepts everyone and makes everyone a champion! It’s His grace and mercy that leads the way to peace, forgiveness and a finding a place to belong. The apostle Paul knew this truth and actually bragged about his weaknesses, saying they were the catalyst of God’s power resting on him. He realized it wasn’t his resume God wanted but rather his rags! It’s from the rags that God gives new beginnings, healing and purpose. It’s these places that give Him a chance to be God in our lives, proving His provision, power and peace.
“That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Please notice the line “when I am weak, then I am strong.” It speaks directly to the Pink Elephant we all have: weaknesses. What would happen if we were honest with ourselves and with others regarding this area?
I believe it would erase elitism in church and give hope to others. We could all give a collective exhale, knowing that we aren’t the only ones dealing with something. Churches and Christians become powerful by being humble and vulnerable. We become great by serving. We become clean by coming into the light. You see, together we can tackle and defeat any Pink Elephant. What’s awesome and sad is that Jesus has the power to use our weaknesses for good, but so many people are hiding them that He can’t use them!
What will you choose?
You and I have a Pink Elephant, and it’s up to us what happens with it. Our God can turn our pain into healing, our scars into victory, our past into a story of grace, our fears into faith, our failure into new beginnings and our loss into gain. This is Jesus, the Christ and Savior of the World. He is reaching for all of us. He wants our weaknesses so that His story can be written within us. So that we can be strong in the greatest way!
I encourage you to tackle your Pink Elephant with others and embrace your weaknesses as opportunities for God to do miracles. Put away the resume and let Him have your rags; He’s not impressed with that. He wants the real you. Let go of trying to better than others. Let go of trying to impress others, and receive the approval of God. Let go of hiding your weaknesses, and be free in the light of His love!
Take your next step by sharing with someone you trust. Be involved in community and let humility be your posture with God and with others!
Have a great day and may you tackle the Pink Elephant!