15 Nov BROKENNESS
I think it’s safe to say most of us don’t want to be broken. We try so desperately to appear “put together,” and being broken contradicts everything that we work so hard for. We see the word “brokenness” and it makes us sad – we feel sorry for the broken person and are thankful when it’s not us. Bones break, glass breaks, toys break, weak people break…but NOT US. We will be strong. We will hold our heads high in the midst of things that could break us, and we will push through. And if we do break, we’ll bandage ourselves up real quick and pretend like we didn’t.
But this attitude…this desire to look down upon brokenness as if it were something to avoid at all costs…this is where I think we have it all wrong! The more I experience life as a follower of Christ and the more I read the Bible, the more I see that God calls us to EMBRACE our brokenness and let it be what draws us closer to Him. Whether we are broken because of our own sin or because of circumstances in our life that are causing us to suffer, our brokenness leads us to cling to Him, and that is never something to avoid!
I was brought to tears recently in regards to the beauty of brokenness as a teacher at the recovery program I attend spoke about Kintsugi – the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery in a way that makes it much more beautiful and valuable than before it was broken. The creator uses gold, silver, or platinum to seal the cracks of the broken pottery (see the photo at the top of this post for an example). When looking at the finished product, there is no question there was a maker who created it that way. Just as the brokenness of the pottery makes it more valuable, it’s our dents and scratches that qualify us for making an impact…and even better, these scars – made beautiful by our Maker – speak to God’s grace and power! When I think about this in regard to my own life and story, I can’t help but weep with gratitude that the Lord has brought me to the point of brokenness many times – so that I too, could be lucky enough to be made more beautiful and valuable when He puts me back together, time and time again.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” This verse always paints a picture in my mind of His loving arms wrapped around me. When we are experiencing brokenness we have the opportunity of letting God do one of His favorite jobs – comforting us. It is a BLESSING to need Him the way we do when we feel broken. Earlier in this Psalm, in verses 4-6, David also says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.”
I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling super confident in my own abilities and far from broken, I call on the Lord much less. I miss the JOY of seeing God answer my prayers and hear my cries!! I love the idea that when we look to Him, we are radiant. The NLT version of the Bible says “radiant with joy”. How beautiful and simple that when we are in a state of brokenness, simply looking to Him can bring us joy. I love this about our Father. He cares for us gently in our fragile state…He doesn’t ask much of us to start the process of healing and changing – He simply asks for us to look to Him.