Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Beauty and Hope in Brokenness

"See, I am doing a new thing.
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and
streams in the wasteland." Is 43:19

My church has purchased 31 acres, a significant amount of land on which we are building a home. There are 4 buildings that will be restored for our use. All are broken and have laid waste for some years. Volunteer crews have been going over whenever schedule and weather allow, cutting down trees and clearing the land.

Taking down panels of old ceilings and walls, my mind couldn't help thinking about how God restores and rebuilds. He doesn't just cover the old. He takes that which is broken and makes it new.  Why are we proceeding with this labor intensive and costly undertaking? We see a finished product.

What do we do with the broken?

Glass can chip, shatter or sometimes have hairline cracks. The chipped sometimes are glued back together. The shattered are swept up and discarded. As the cup slipped from my soapy hand and fell into the painted cast iron sink a hairline crack appeared down the side. "Oh! She just gave me this a few days ago and I go and break it!" I had to stabilize my thoughts. Gingerly I dried it and placed it in my China cabinet. I'm not throwing it away. It was a gift of love, and my cabinet is just for such things; a potpourri of items that carry sentimental value.

I have many hairline cracks. They sometimes can't be seen from the outside. They are in areas where every time you touch them the weaker I become. "Don't touch them, or I may fall to pieces". Who wants to be broken?  Haven't I been broken enough? Yet I know, even as I am holding myself together that no matter how many shattered pieces I may become, Jesus was broken first. But do you notice, they never broke His legs at the cross? They saw that He was already dead. Jn 19:33. He needed not to be broken any more.

Being broken frees what is inside

I hold back. I feel it. I don't trust certain people like I used to. Many years of neglected places and misinterpreted words have formed a hybrid of truth that leaves dry, barren wasteland deep within my soul. I am a vessel with fragile walls, afraid to be broken for fear of what will emerge. Job 6:6,7 "Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat". Perhaps the places I do not fully commit to Christ end up having no use nor flavor at all.

I have Christ inside. It happened at salvation. Brokenness created a space for Jesus to enter. I remember it well. As new life was rushing in all the old was being pushed out. Now I need once again to allow brokenness to be replaced with the beautiful.

Whole and beautiful is created from the broken.

We will never be perfect while we live in these earthly bodies. I would rather be whole and beautiful in my imperfection, revealing a loving God who is perfect for all of the breaks and cracks and fallen pieces. If we could achieve perfection, of what use would a savior be? My hope is in Christ who is faithful to me. When I am broken, I will not be glued back together or thrown away, but I will be transformed.

Being forsaken brought Him into full surrender. 

It was in those final words of Jesus that revealed His complete brokenness to the Father. "Into thy hands I commit my  spirit", Lk 23:46. Those words came after He was forsaken by the Father. Everything He did on earth He did through prayer and power from His heavenly Father. When He was forsaken He faced the fullness of knowing what it was to be man without hope so He in His free will completely gave Himself over to the one who is hope. As long as I feel there is another way of escape I will not be broken.

Streams in the wasteland where no water flows

There are springs waiting to burst. New growth beneath the frozen ground just waiting for the thaw. 
"...Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17.

Jesus has promised never to forsake us. He  knows the despair it brings. Let me fall into the hands of the one who was forsaken and broken for me.

The building project will take many months, but when it is done it will feed whoever will come in whatever spiritual way they may need. That is our vision. That was God's vision for sending His son and the Son's vision for completing the task. It was all for whosoever will come.

He beckons me. He will not force me. His mercy will ever be with me, and as I am willing to be broken, even if it be piece by piece, the life of Christ will begin to show through.

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  1. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for visiting my online home and I'm happy to meet you! What truth your words hold that there is a strange beauty and usefulness in the broken things in our lives. Growth can come after the deadest of seasons and only then do we recognize that it was God who brought the miracle. I loved hearing what you discovered as you volunteered to clear your church's land for a new building!

    1. Thank you for reading. I hope you got the updated version. Some of my paragraphs got repeated and rearranged in the first one. Imperfect me! Blessings to you!

  2. Fantastically beautiful and true!! I'm glad I finally got the time to come across and read!

  3. Fantastically beautiful and true!! I'm glad I finally got the time to come across and read!