3 Things I Learned From Brokenness
We live in a throw-away society. When something breaks these days, we just throw it away and buy a new one. The way things are currently made they seemingly break more easily than things made in days gone by. We just buy a new one because it is cheaper to buy a new one than it is to fix the broken item.
Some times when something breaks that I own I try to glue it back together. Many times my kids have come to me with a broken toy and I reach for the super glue or Gorilla Glue. I have been successful at repairing some items but other items have not been so successful.
In a previous post I talked about growing strong through weakness. When my marriage fell apart I felt like my life was completely and hopelessly shattered. It was if I was standing there with my life in a million pieces lying all around me. I didn’t even know where to begin to put them back together. I didn’t think there was enough glue in the world to put me back together again. I felt like my life was being thrown away.
For the last three years I have been in a fog of confusion, hurt, dismay and brokenness. I have been in a place that I haven’t liked. I have felt totally out of control. I have felt helpless. The best way to put it is….I was broken. To be more accurate, I am broken.
Being broken has a way of making you feel invaluable. I felt worthless, that I no longer understood what my purpose was. I have known since I was 12 that I was called to be a pastor. It’s what I love to do but suddenly I wasn’t pastoring anymore. I loved being married and suddenly what (and who) I loved wasn’t there any longer. What wasn’t supposed to happen was happening to me.
My ideas of success…..
Everything was now . . . . . . .
The problem was that I didn’t know how to put the pieces back together. I didn’t know where to begin. At times, I didn’t even want to put them back together. I just wanted to wake up from this horrible nightmare and realize that it was all a bad dream. I wanted to get off this crazy roller coaster ride called . . . . Brokenness.
Like an unfixable, broken piece of pottery I was bound for the trash can.
Then, God revealed some very important truths to me that one can only learn when they have come to a place of brokenness.
If I allowed Him, He would pick up the pieces of my life.
My life was so shattered that I saw no hope. I thought there was no way that the pieces could be picked up, let alone be put back together.
One thing that God shared with me was that not all the pieces would be put back into my life. Some of the pieces didn’t need to go back into my life. They were things that would cause pain, hurt and more frustration. I had believed that wholeness was God putting my whole life back together. However, He is the Potter and He knows more than I do.
The lesson is that my wholeness doesn’t come from what’s in or not in my life. My wholeness comes from Him.
God will put the pieces back together where He becomes the glue that holds everything in place.
You see, the test of any glue is in how well it holds something together. Thankfully, God is able to hold my life together; and yours too, for that matter! The beauty of God being the glue that is fixing my life is this: the glue becomes a part of the broken vessel. There is a merging, a bonding that takes place. The glue and the vessel become one. I don’t believe that God is interested in creating a brand new me out of my brokenness. He did that at my new birth (2 Cor. 5:17). God is interested in becoming one with me through my brokenness. He wants to be the glue that merges and bonds with me. Isn’t that beautiful?
In our brokenness we often times feel like He is a million miles away. We can feel forgotten and abandoned. We can feel neglected and alone. I know that I have. I have felt like God set me on a shelf and said, “Stay here. I’ll be back later.” I think that Carman, the Christian singer, said it best when he found out he had incurable cancer. He said that he felt like God told him that he was fired but didn’t give him a reason why. Sometimes our journeys are like that. We get blindsided by life and God doesn’t give us a reason why.
He just becomes the glue that holds us together.
I am more valuable in my brokenness because in my brokenness I am joined to God.
Brokenness often makes us feel worthless. For me, I felt worthless. I couldn’t see beyond my brokenness. However, I don’t get to set my value (I’ve wrote about that here). The Father establishes my value, not my strengths or my brokenness. He is my creator, and the Potter, so he sets my value.
Instead of throwing us away in our broken state, God becomes one with us. It’s through our brokenness that we become one with God. It’s through our brokenness that his light shines through to the world around us.
I love what Vance Havner said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
Psalm 34:17-18 (NASB) The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
So, have you ever been broken? How did you handle it?