I am broken. Sometimes I’m more aware of it than at other times, but I am broken nonetheless. There was the time I broke my foot, the time I broke my wrist and was in a cast for what seemed such a long time. Those injuries along with lots of others have healed over time although there is always the possibility of new injuries taking their place. But living with broken bones is a piece of cake compared to living with a broken heart.
I wish I could protect my heart but I haven’t figured out how yet. Even hard hearts shatter, breaking into a million pieces. Only a loving Heavenly Father can restore such a heart. But living in this broken, sinful world, it seems a broken heart is unavoidable. So I am living my life with a broken heart. Broken dreams, broken relationships, brokenness over my own sin and broken by the sin of others, I am walking wounded in this world. Broken over love lost, broken by injustice, cruelty and the suffering that surrounds, broken by careless words and by my own inability to heal another’s pain; these all ensure a constant state of brokenness from which I must live this life.
Jesus said it is the sick who need a doctor, sinners who need a Savior and that’s why He came (Mark 2:17). Jesus came to enter into our brokenness and restore us, not so much physically, although He often did that, but to restore us spiritually. When I realize again just how broken I am, I don’t feel very beautiful or very valuable or very useful. Then I have to learn all over again that it is precisely my brokenness that allows me to be used by Jesus for His purposes.
Our culture doesn’t value brokenness, but Jesus does. “But He (the Lord) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ ” (2 Corinthians 12:9) This means He can use me in my broken state, which is a good thing because that seems to be the only state I know and live in.
2 Corinthians 4:7 reminds me that ” . . . we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (me) This “treasure” of God’s Holy Spirit living in me (I am the jar of clay or the earthen vessel) is both light and life to me. If I am broken His light can shine out through all my cracks and holes to reveal His love to others.
It’s like the battle Gideon and his men fought with only trumpets and clay jars with torches in them. When the jars were broken, the light contained and hidden in each jar was suddenly revealed and God’s purposes for that battle were accomplished. The usefulness of the jars was in their brokenness, not in their strength or in their wholeness.
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. . . . apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) But Jesus says if we remain in Him, He can use us, we will bear much fruit. He also says, “On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20) Connection – that’s the key. Even as a broken branch, as long as I remain attached to the Vine, His light and life will flow through me, no matter how battered, how bruised or how broken I am. That’s the beauty of a broken branch – Christ in me, my hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
If my heart holds God’s Holy Spirit, then my broken heart is necessary to let His light shine out through all the broken pieces that my Redeemer will one day put back together for good. But for now broken is better. Broken is beautiful. Broken is what lets the light out instead of holding it in where no one can see it and benefit from it. The beauty of a broken branch is that it can be used by God.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why , for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
sincerely, Grace Day