People are broken. Emotionally. Everyone has a story, and everyone has pain in their past. For some people it’s an obvious broken that they share. For others it’s a great mystery.
Today I’m sitting here at work wondering what my coworker’s broken is. And that’s a major victory for me.
See, I could be sitting here getting all upset about the fact that all my job end times were changed last night. All my jobs from end time 5:40 to 6:05 were changed to 6:00pm when I came in this morning. 5 jobs total. And there was only person who would have bothered to take the time to “fix” them to her (rigid) standards.
So I’m sitting here this morning deciding how I want to react. I’m not mad. I’m not sad. I’m not even put out. And as I ponder, I realize God has placed in me this unusual reaction – I am curious.
I am curious what makes a grown adult act so overly compulsive. About yesterday, a day that is done and has no effect on her day today. I am curious why it is so important that something that is not even hers to decide in the end is worth her time and energy.
And I feel like God keeps pointing me to brokenness. That we’re all broken. So I become curious about why she is broken the way she is. How does a person become broken to the point of being overly controlling? What is happening in that person’s life to be concerned about manipulating a minor detail in her favor?
And then God continues to perform a miracle as I start to pray – for her. It saddens me to say I do not often pray through my day, but today I felt compelled to pray. As I typed. As I worked. As I was curious. Who else but God could help me understand the brokenness surrounding me in the office?
So I prayed. “God, help me to understand the brokenness. God, help me to see beyond the brokenness to Your creation. God, help me to react differently to the control.”
Why is she so broken? I think it’s a question I’ll never get answered. Because she won’t admit she’s broken. She won’t admit there’s any issues. She won’t acknowledge she’s part of the problem.
And so she’s stuck. Which means my office is stuck, subject to the erratic winds of her mood. Winds brought about by brokenness.
And I think how sweet would it be if we were easily fixed liked broken toys. Oh, your dad left when you were little? Here’s a healthy dose of “God is a Father to the fatherless” to fill the voids. Oh, your classmates made fun of you? Here’s a healthy dose of “God says you’re His poetry” to overwrite those memories. Oh, your mother never told you she loved you? Here’s a healthy dose of “God loves you unconditionally” to soothe the heartaches.
God’s Word gives us all these “fixes”. His Word truly is a balm to our pains and disappointments, but it won’t work unless we apply it. How will the aspirin relieve my headache if I never take it out the bottle? It won’t. God’s ready and waiting to heal you – to fill all your voids, to overwrite all those bad memories, to soothe all the hurts. Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 51:17 says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”
There’s a catch – we have to receive the promises and apply them. He’s waiting for you to come to Him with all of these things and trust Him to give you His grace in their place.
Do you realize what the beauty of mosaic work and stained glass windows is? It’s the broken pieces assembled into something new and whole. It’s a new creation that has come from the pieces of other things.
And that’s what we are. We are a new creation, arisen from the broken pieces of our life. Our past, our mistakes, our tragedies, our triumphs, our joys, our sorrows, our regrets, our hurts, our voids, our pain. God has put us upon His potter’s wheel (Jeremiah 18:1-6) and crafted all the broken pieces into His masterpiece, His poetry for the world to see (Ephesians 2:10). He has taken our pieces and given them the purpose of ministry to others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
God isn’t far away. We feel like He is, but He isn’t. We think, as Psalm 31:12 says, that “I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” But God is patiently waiting for you and wanting to comfort you. Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”
So what’s your broken? Are you willing to give it to God?
God wants it so He can exchange it for His goodness. We can only go in our own strength and ability for so long before we run out of energy and options. He wants us to let it go of our brokenness to exchange it for His guidance, His strength, His patience, and His love. 1 Samuel 2:4 says “The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.”
God lets us get to the end of ourselves, hoping we’ll realize sooner rather than later where our brokenness is (Jeremiah 2:13). And when we recognize it for what it is and are willing to deal with it, He steps in to walk with us toward change. Isaiah 40:28-31 promises “28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Matthew 11:28-30 promises “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
And when you are willing to see your brokenness, God’s ultimate promise is Isaiah 43:18-19 – 18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”
God’s new thing in Luke 9 was a miracle. The crowds had followed Jesus into Bethsaida, a crowd of at least 5000 people. The day became late, and the crowds were hungry. But instead of sending them away, Jesus tells the disciples to feed them. What did they have? Just a few simple provisions and a lot of disciple doubt. But Jesus was bigger than their doubt and already had a plan. Luke 9:16-17 says “16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
The miracle was 12 leftover baskets of broken fragments. 12 baskets for 12 disciples. 12 baskets of doubt-removing proof that God cares and God provides. The disciples didn’t recognize their brokenness or the significance of that moment, but they did later upon seeing their beloved Savior resurrected. And they probably remembered this moment.
So I’ll ask you again. What’s your broken? Are you willing to give it to God? He’s waiting to do a miracle for you.
Marie Fremin, 5/19/15