Have you ever been in a quiet and peaceful setting when a sudden loud noise broke the silence? Or can you remember a skipping recording on a broken vinyl record? Maybe you have had an “old beater” of an automobile that was constantly breaking down.
I’ve had my iPad broken, my bones broken, my confidence broken, and my heart broken. I’ve broken guitars, cars, bulbs, lamps, amps and clamps. And I could go on….
But I never truly understood the meaning of the word until I found myself broken before God.
Brokenness is not when you’ve been caught with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar. That’s simply guilt. And to make matters worse, if you hadn’t been caught red-handed you would likely never have even felt guilty.
Brokenness is not a poor self-image. There was a time when I would have argued the other way. I believed that I was broken because I had poor self-esteem. But I’ve come to realize that self-image is a choice that we make. We can choose to see ourselves in a better light. “Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10, KJV).
No, we experience brokenness only when we come into the presence of the Lord. We bring our guilt and our shame before Him and we are obliterated. We lay our own lives, desires and plans at His feet. We come vessels, complete in and of ourselves, and allow those vessels to be broken until they are useful only in Him
Some broken things can be put back together and still work. As good as I was at breaking things, I became nearly as good at repairing them. I was never afraid to take something that no longer worked apart. It didn’t work already, so I couldn’t possibly make it any worse! Using this logic I learned to fix a lot of things.
But some things are broken beyond recognition and repair. For a lot of years I approached my Christian walk with the attitude, “I can fix this!”. But there are some things that you just can’t repair. I tried to be better, but there wasn’t enough duct tape in the world to put me back together. And until I realized that there was nothing that I could do to solve my sin problem, I was trying to put a puzzle together with lots of missing pieces.
Some broken things, however, can be re-purposed. The garden hose with the hole in it can have more holes put into it and it becomes a sprinkler. That old leaky toilet can be used in the yard as a planter. YouTube is chock-full of videos on how people re-purposed broken items around their homes.
This is what God does with us. We come into His presence, where sin cannot abide, and who we were is shattered. God then picks up the pieces, grabs the divine super-glue, and puts us back together, changed, but perfect. That’s not to say we no longer sin. We will battle that until we see Him face to face.
Brokenness, unfortunately isn’t some one-and-done kind of experience. We need to exist in a perpetual state of brokenness before God, willing to be and do who He wants us to be. “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, ESV, emphasis mine).
Have a blessed weekend!