Do not be afraid of the brokenness in your life.
We all have to deal with broken relationships, broken promises, broken dreams, and broken hearts. All of us are broken by our own sin and by the sin of others.
But God says to us:
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Joshua 1:9)
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. (Isaiah 41:10)
God meets us in those broken places, and He is the Restorer. He repairs and renews and redeems. That is what Resurrection is all about.
Enter a Garden
We do not come just to the Cross, which is the place of forgiveness. We come also to the empty tomb, which opens into a springtime garden. We receive forgiveness at the cross, but we receive new life in the garden.
When we open up to Christ our tombs of suffering, He speaks life into every place which is yielded to Him. Every deep wound becomes a place for deep healing. Every cruel piercing becomes a place for tender filling. Our pain can break the hardness of our hearts so that our spirits finally open up to His love and goodness. God longs to pour His power into our weakness, and His peace into our distress. He knows how to fill our emptiness with His fullness.
Roll Away Some Stones
Do you remember the New Testament story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus? These three siblings were close friends of Jesus. Several days after Lazarus died, Martha was hesitant to open the tomb of her brother to Jesus. We, too, can be reluctant to expose places of our heart. But we are safe with this God who has written love for us on His own arms.¹ He will not shame us, and He certainly will not violate us.
Jesus did not do what Martha expected. What He did was far greater than what she expected. It will be the same for you.
Trust God with the Seeds
Ann Voskamp reminds us that we are like seeds that are broken apart and completely undone, and then something mighty and beautiful grows out of that very brokenness.² Jesus said that unless a seed dies, it remains alone. But buried in the ground, it dies, producing “a plentiful harvest.”³
I am easily distressed by brokenness—the neediness, the failures, the suffering, the struggles, the lack. It is around us and within us. But I am learning not to be disheartened. I am learning—just a bit—to allow the Spirit to bring His peace to the core of my being. It’s something like “a feast in the presence of mine enemies.”¹¹
Hold and Behold the Hurting
We can feel great compassion for those who are hurting, and we can also feel utterly helpless to heal their wounds. But we can do something very powerful. While we cannot fix those who are broken, we can carry them to the One who can. We can “hold and behold.”
Sometimes we can actually hold others in our arms, but always we can hold them in
our hearts and in our prayers. And we can behold them. We can behold them as treasures, and we can behold their stories and their unique hearts. Holding and beholding, we can lift up those who are broken to the One who repairs and who makes new.
As we encounter brokenness, we need not sink down in despair. Instead, we can walk knowing that God meets us in these broken places. This is where He works His miracles. Jesus Christ is the God who stoops to make us great,²² who washes dirty feet, and who touches unclean lepers. Christ enters our brokenness with us, walks through it with us, and turns ashes into beauty.³³
Hold and Behold Your Healer
We are all walking through pieces of brokenness right now, but when the Perfect comes, then we will walk in glorious wholeness and beauty. Until then, we walk with the One who is Himself Glory and Beauty.
¹ In Isaiah 49:16, God says, “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (NLT).
To Write Love on Her Arms is an organization dedicated to helping people who are struggling with self-destructive habits: twloha.com.
² The Broken Way. Zondervan. 2016.
³ John 12:24, NLT
¹¹ Psalm 23:5, KJV
²² Psalm 18:35, NIV
³³ Isaiah 61:3
Larry · February 8, 2017 at 10:21 pm
Love the symbolism of seeds. It’s true that our brokenness open up seeds that God will plant. Often our purpose flows from those broken times of our life. Great word!
Tami · February 9, 2017 at 12:00 am
Thank you, Larry. Your comment reminded me that fire releases the seeds of some pine trees–another great word-picture for thought.
May God continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry with much spiritual fruit.
Kim Nolywaika · February 6, 2017 at 12:13 am
I remember as a child in the suburbs of New York, admiring the moss and other little plants that managed to grow up between the cracks in the sidewalks. How green and alive they were right there between my roller skates. Thank you for reminding me that cracks are just the perfect place to plant something beautiful – and durable.
Tami · February 6, 2017 at 12:51 am
Thank you for this wonderful comment, Kim. Even “the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose” (Is. 35:1).
Thank you for showing us through your own life the beauty of Christ in places of raw brokenness, and the radiance of Christ in the midst of darkness. Not only is every tear being caught as precious (Ps. 56:8), but every drop will be redeemed with a far-exceeding glory (2 Cor. 4:17), which we cannot even imagine. May the Lord continue to sustain you, comforting you with His love and goodness, and encouraging you with bright green sprouts of hope pushing up, right out of the cracks.