The most important influence to my pastoral counseling is from David Powlison. Powlison was a professor at the seminary my wife Angel graduated from and has had an indelible impact on her counseling. I had the chance to meet Powlison face-to-face a handful of times and was deeply impacted by his ministry both through Angel and through his writing. Seeing with New Eyes is the most important book I’ve ever read on Biblical counseling.
A month ago David Powlison died of cancer at age 69. He lived his last months as he lived his life: full of grace. In the midst of diminishing strength, Powlison used his trial with cancer as a trumpet for the gospel. In my Angel’s words, “He longed for God’s glory and God gave him that gift early.”
Weeks before Powlison died he wrote the closing comments at Westminster Theological Seminary’s graduation where they were delivered by his friend and colleague, Mike Emlet. Powlison’s call to step into God’s grace in the midst of our weaknesses is doubly powerful because it is a truth spoken in the midst of an extreme trial. It is a very picture of what he is speaking of: strength in weakness.
May we too be unafraid to be weak for the sake of the revelation of the strength of God.
Here is what Powlison said:[i]