This is something that is obvious to me every day. It's something I think about often, something I pray about, something I discuss in light of the Scriptures with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
But some weeks the brokenness in my own life, in me, is so obvious and apparent that it's a little staggering.
The past couple weeks have been those weeks.
God has allowed physical brokenness in my life that has left me extra emotionally, mentally, and spiritually broken.
He has allowed relational brokenness and hurt that has surfaced more painfully.
It has been an incredibly humbling and difficult two weeks.
I like to think I have it together. I like to not need anyone. I like being strong and independent. I like saying I'm fine and dandy.
Those are a lot of "I like" statements.
Praise God that He's not about catering to my "likes".
Praise God that He has surrounded me with brothers and sisters who challenge me, who dig past the "I'm okay" mumbles, who point me to the truth of God's Word, who pray for me, who give me a good kick in the backside.
And praise God for brokenness. As I write here, I am flipping through various passages in Scripture that talk about brokenness.
Brokenness can be a beautiful thing.
Psalm 51:17 says, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." That whole chapter shows the beauty of brokenness and repentance before God.
Psalm 34:17-18 says, "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
Those two verses have been so incredibly true in my life. God has allowed some dark, dark times; times of more pain than I could possibly handle on my own. And it's in those times, that He has been the closest. Thinking about it makes me cry right here on my MacBook as I type this. He has taken me to the depths of the sea (metaphorically speaking) and His love has never, ever been separated from me. (Romans 8:35-39) He has been near when I am broken and crushed. Because of Him, I am truly thankful for the hard times.
Matthew 21:42-44 comes to mind here. We need to allow God to break us. We need to humbly fall on the Stone in brokenness. When difficulties fall on us, we can respond in one of two ways: we can respond in humble brokenness or in stubborn bitterness. I have responded in both ways. It's much more natural to be angry, frustrated, and self-pitiful. But when we fall before the Throne of God in brokenness and submission, He is near to us. He hears us. He saves us. He binds up our wounds.
Jesus came into our broken world, He lived over three decades in our broken world, and He died a horrible, awful, gruesome, cursed death. He did that to heal our spiritual brokenness. He became broken to heal our brokenness. I can hardly fathom that. It's incredible. The perfect Son of God came and was broken for me and for anyone else who calls on Him for salvation and repents. Joy and gratitude and utter awe floods my heart when I ponder that.