We live in a throwaway culture. When things get a little rusty, old, broken or out of
style we throw them away. For years, I enjoyed taking the throwaways of others and
making them into something beautiful. A piece of furniture with torn upholstery could
be reupholstered with material that made it look better than it did when it was new. I had a
long coffee table in my living room, made from a fire-damaged door. In my china
cabinet, I had old dishes, some chipped, that are priceless antiques. Some things become
more valuable and beautiful as time goes on.
People who have been broken by life’s hurts are like my priceless antiques. Each
chip reflects their character, uniqueness and value. While the world throws broken things
away, God is in the process of breaking His people in order to make them more usable.
The things we think are the greatest tragedies, are later found to be God’s way of bringing
us something better, or of making us into the beautiful people He intended for us to be.
Before I can plant my garden, I must break up the soil so that it will receive the
seeds. A house cannot be built until a tree has been broken down and remade into beams.
Before there can be life, there must be death; before there can be joy, there must be
weeping. The joy of a mother as she hears the first cries of her new baby is preceded by
the pain of childbirth.
The hurts, pains and losses in our lives are often God’s way of making something
new. A broken dream may be the birth of new hopes and dreams. A broken marriage
may be the birth of new relationships or a new life. Broken health may bring us new
insights and talents.
In my own life, it was during a time of having my health broken that I began
writing, discovering talents I didn’t realize I had. Later, it was after my hopes and dreams
had been broken that I went back to college. The coffee table that sat in my living room
today for many years would not have been there if it had not been fire- damaged and cast
away by others. Likewise, I would not be who I am today had I not been broken.
Even in times when we have failed God and ourselves, He uses our failures for
good making us into the humble, broken person He can use for His glory. Unless we are
emptied of ourselves, we cannot be filled with Christ. The Apostle Peter denied Jesus
three times. He experienced the depths of hopelessness after his denial of his Lord. For
several days he went into hiding broken with grief and fear. When Jesus came to the
disciples after he had risen from the dead he asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you
love me more than these others?” “Yes,” Peter replied, “you know I am your friend.”
“Then feed my lambs.” Jesus repeated the question: “Simon, son of John, do you really
love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I am your friend.” “Then take care of
my sheep,” Jesus said. Once more he asked him, “Simon, son of John, are you even my
friend?” Peter was grieved at the way Jesus asked the question this third time. “Lord,
you know my heart; you know I am,” he said. Jesus said, “Then feed my little sheep.
Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to acknowledge Him three times.
In Matthew 16:18 He called Peter the rock saying, “ And I tell you that you are Peter,
rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”
If your life is being torn and broken, it may be that God is giving birth to
something new. God can’t use a people that are full of themselves. It is when we are
broken that God can use us to fulfill His purpose here on earth. For it is only after a man
is broken that God’s strength can be revealed. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the
ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it dies, it bringth forth much fruit.” John 12:24
We must die to ourselves, our own hopes and dreams so that we can live for Christ
fulfilling His purpose.
When a seed goes into the ground, the ground must be broken before the seed ca
take root. During the broken times in my life, I have asked God to plant the seeds of His
desires in every broken, emptied place in my soul so His will is done in my life. We cannot think His thoughts or do His will until the seeds of His desire are planted in our hearts. His seeds cannot grow in a hardened soul. They can only grow in a broken heart that is open to Him.
May His love fill you today and always.