I really love the bible. I don’t read it enough, but I really love it. It is such an amazing book (collection of books, I know I know…) full of stories of a phenomenal God who consistently uses broken, but obedient, people.
Which is comforting, because I am that – broken.
But aren’t we all?
Either through things that have happened to us, or things we have chosen to do to ourselves; we’ve all got the scars and cracks and open wounds to prove it.
We are the broken people.
In some form or another, we are hurting; in physical or emotional pain.
We plod along and keep going. We cope with the pain; stuff it down deep so that it doesn’t hurt anymore and look ahead. Some of us even thrive.
But we all have suffering of some sort in our lives. I’m not sure that there is anyone in the world who can escape getting hurt.
And the things we often hide behind don’t really help; money can’t buy your healing. Fame can’t help you cope with it. Possessions cannot cover it. Addictions simply multiply it. Running away from it doesn’t work either as it always keeps pace.
And, if you’re anything like me, sometimes it feels like healing is a long long way off. I spoke to a friend the other day who felt like there was no hope for healing, no way out from the loss he was feeling, no escape from the grief.
This is the daily reality for lots of us. Struggling to cope with, well, life…
But, we who are the broken people are also the people of the cross, people who have a saviour who promised to set us free. We have a God who redeems that which is broken – a God who knows us inside out, claims us as his own and doesn’t leave us as we are. We are but clay in the potters hands, and if we let Him, God will heal our pain and use it for our good.
But I am also comforted by the heroes in the bible. Broken, angry, hurt, shamed, hated as they were; God took their imperfection and made it work.
“God uses broken things.
It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength.
It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.
It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
God doesn’t want us to be perfect before He invites us to join Him in the work He is already doing. I think He does want us to be honest. Honest about our imperfections and pain. Honest about our sin. Honest about the fact that we can’t do it without Him.
In 2 Corinthians 12, God speaks to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul’s response is one I want to learn, desperately…
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Not only is our weakness not bad, but it’s an opportunity to let God shine – people can see Him in us more clearly, when His strength is made perfect in our weakness. We are the broken people…and somehow, that’s ok.
As Switchfoot put it:
“We are a beautiful let down, painfully uncool.
The church of the dropouts, the losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools.”
This is our calling.
Not to be the answer, we can never do that. But to point, in every way possible, to the only One who can take our broken lives and make them into something glorious.
I’m learning that to let God heal my hurts, my pain and to use my weakness brings freedom. Maybe this is part of the life in all its fullness that Jesus promises. Here’s to God taking my brokenness to reveal His glory.