Have you been feeling lately like trials are hitting you from every side and if one more thing comes along, you just might break under the weight of it all? Or perhaps you’re past that point and feel like the broken pieces of your life are lying discarded at your feet. Well, take heart. God stands ready to meet you in a very special way. Psalm 51:17 says: “a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” And Psalm 34:18 tells us that “the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
When we are crushed in spirit and have a broken heart, we may as well just acknowledge to God that we don’t understand the things that are happening to us or around us. Pretending with God will never get us anywhere! We should just confess that though we’ve tried to fix things, our meager attempts have failed. He knows that, of course, but just our admitting it to Him, shows a heart of contrition and a willingness to surrender to His healing process.
God sometimes allows circumstances in our lives that break our hearts. We feel like Humpty Dumpty who fell off the wall and couldn’t be put back together again –not even by all the king’s horses and men! We have a King, however, who CAN put us back together – and wants to do that. Isaiah 57:15 says “For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
God’s in the resuscitation business! When it seems like we are just DONE and FINISHED and out of all hope for a future, we read this verse and find that when we are at our lowest, God lives with us right there at that low point! And when we are humble before Him, admitting that we can’t fix ourselves or do anything about our condition, this scripture tells us that He WILL REVIVE us! He will be absolutely faithful to meet us right where we are and begin to breathe new life into us and put us back together as He sees fit.
Sometimes God allows us to be broken to save us from ourselves. How many times have we prayed for something, that IF God had given it to us, would be absolutely the WRONG thing for us! At the time He says “no”, we’re disappointed – even to the point of anger. We don’t understand why that job didn’t come through, or why that person betrayed us, or why we weren’t healed as soon as we thought we should have been! But in all these things, God is working for our good! He wants us to understand that we can’t save ourselves! And the only way some of us will learn that is by having to experience it! Our pride, our independence, our self-confidence can get in the way and He has to “break” that dependence on self. When “our way” doesn’t work, then we may finally learn what it is to depend fully on Him with a humble and contrite heart. At that point, we can come to him – just as we are – no pretense – no ideas of our own – no preconceived notion of how things ought to work – just baring our souls before Him and allowing him into our shattered lives.
When I think about brokenness, I’m reminded of an incident that happened years ago immediately after a family dinner for which I had set the table with our best china and crystal. Now I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but I do remember this: I was the only one near the beautiful crystal goblet which, only moments before, had graced the table in our dining room. Now it lay broken and shattered on the kitchen floor. My 3 young children looked on in horror – each one silently thanking God that it wasn’t them who had knocked the goblet to the floor. No – it was Mom – who had cautioned the kids a thousand times to be very careful around the crystal and to treat it gently! As I stared at the gleaming bits of crystal strewn over the floor, I realized that there was no fixing this! It was beyond repair.
I think about this incident often – seeing something of beauty become a broken mess on the floor. And I realize how often our lives, like that goblet, can become broken and shattered – sometimes in just an instant – and it seems like we are beyond repair. We’ll never be what we used to be – we’ll never be useful again, we’ll never be whole and functioning again the way we were in the past.
Unlike that goblet, however, we CAN be repaired – and even made into someone MORE beautiful, MORE capable, and MORE useful in God’s Kingdom than we had been before! As we allow God to complete the repairs – to mold us and shape us as he desires – we will look back and thank Him for the process. We may even thank him for the problem that created our mess! As the lyrics to the song “Through It All” say: (Listen here →