If I could sum up this year into one word, it would be brokenness.
I’ve lost family members to cancer, friends to overdoses, racked up mounds of dental bills and recently got laid off. My hopes and dreams for this year, and my life, blew up in my face like a wave of grenades launched by an invisible enemy.
What I’ve learned is that I do have an enemy, and so do you. But it isn’t brokenness.
Our enemy is Satan. Satan loves to see us broken because when pain is deafening it is hard to hear truth!
Its in those frail moments of life, when we are barely holding on and question everything we believe about God, that Satan sneaks in, pricking our battered hearts with needles of deception.
The prick shows us we are still alive but we are deeply in pain. Then Satan whispers, “You may be alive, but it’s not because God has a purpose for you.” or “God doesn’t love you”.
He tells us change is bad and life should not be hard. He says a God of love can’t exist when we are in a world of pain.
Those dark moments. Those moments where it seems like all hope is lost. That is where we have to choose. We have to decide if Satan is right and if we are going to let him win.
We have to ask ourselves how can a God of love exist in a world of pain? Well let me tell you friend, some of the most loving things God does come out of our most painful moments.
Look at the cross. After Jesus’ body was broken and he lay dead in the tomb, I bet his followers wondered where their God was. I bet they wondered why they ever believed. I bet they completely lost hope in God’s love and His existence.
But the glorious truth is, God allows brokenness so we can have resurrection. He does not want us to live in brokenness. He wants to revive us. We can’t be made into something new if we don’t get rid of burdens that weigh us down.
Jesus had to bear our sin to remove our sin. It wore on him, weighed him down but ultimately we were all freed from it! AMEN!
In Jeremiah 31: 18 – 20 it says,
“I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning:
‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined.
Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God.
After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand,
I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
(God replies) “Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him, I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,”
When the Israelites were in captivity, they were broken beyond measure. I’m sure they felt abandoned, forgotten and unwanted. They probably felt like they went too far and God could not bring them back.
But even then, God remembered them and had great compassion on them. He allowed them to hurt so they could be healed from sin that that got them so far off course.
It may seem extreme but sin is such a destructive force that God allows temporary brokenness to avoid permanent damage.
So let me be clear.
My aunt did not die because of my sin. My teeth did not decide to decay overnight because I made a mistake. But those events showed me a toxic pattern of behavior that I relied on to deal with things. My prayer life was at an all time low. My relationship with God turned into a “love stock exchange”. I tried to do all the right things to create a good “stock” so God would invest His love in me.
And y’all, that is NOT what God sent Jesus to die for. He sent Jesus to free us from our sin and the crazy notion that we can earn His love.
Maybe your relationship crumbled? Maybe you lost a job too? Maybe an addiction caused legal and financial troubles?
Lean into the pain. Don’t run from it. Please, whatever you do, don’t ignore it! Pain shows us we have a problem. Pain shows us we need Jesus. Being broken can be good. Being broken can reveal our desperate longing for Jesus and His incomparable love that can heal us.
Brokenness can be a good thing. In those desperate moments, like Jesus on the cross, we can see the love of God in ways we never have before. We can see our mourning turn to glory. Our pains turn to peace.
It’s a beautiful thing to be broken. Just when you think you have nothing, you realize you have everything.
Have you been walking through a season of brokenness lately? What insights have you gained in the midst of your pain?
*picture is not mine*