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broken-hearts-on-hands

“Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” ~ Psalm 51:17 

In the middle of our round table there is a lazy Susan. One time, my son decided to give it a quick, strong spin. There were a few items on it, namely a ceramic salt and pepper shaker.  Enter mom as the fragments lay scattered on the floor. My son said he thought it could be glued back together and demonstrated how. I said it might not be worth it since you’d always see the cracks. Insistent, he began salvaging the broken pieces.

Ever felt like that broken pepper shaker? Like things were spinning out-of-control, falling apart, and you could no longer hold them all together? Brokenhearted, all that you thought were the makings of your life lay in pieces, and you stare stunned at the shattered fragments.

Though painful, brokenness is a blessing. You see, when we are broken we need fixing. All the while we’re working like a perfectly useful pepper shaker ready to spice up a gastronomic delight, we run the risk of functioning independently. We might be useful, but we may also be a little too self-ruling, or, in other words, too spicy for our own good.

Conversely, when we’re broken, we have come to the end of self. We’ve tried to hold it together and realize it’s impossible. Staring at the pieces, and failing to see a way to put it back together, the tears come freely. We’ve only enough strength to choke out a cry for help.

And the Helper comes.

Like my son with the pepper shaker, God sees something worth saving. Carefully picking up the broken pieces, He places the bits before Him. He assures us everything will be okay but asks that we trust Him. Then, He begins to painstakingly glue the pieces back together, slowly, meticulously, lovingly; only He leaves out some pieces.

When He’s finished there are cracks and even some holes. We think it looks messy and incomplete. He thinks it’s well on it’s way to beauty. He explains that the cracks are the lines that trace where we have been and form a story of our life. The missing parts are the unnecessary bits, and form gaps for others to see into a formerly closed vessel. As they gaze, they see the life of a now transparent person and begin to understand the miraculous work administered to one remade by their Maker.

Don’t be afraid if you are broken just now. Let yourself be miraculously and lovingly put back together by the Father. It takes trusting the only One who can perform such a delicate task. It may be uncomfortableeven painfuland you may question the final product. But the Lord is over-experienced and knows just how to fit everything together and leave out the excess. There will be beauty again.

I bless you in the midst of your brokenness that you would surrender to being remade.

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  1. Brokenness offers an opportunity for God’s deeper work in your life. Perhaps in it God is offering to heal something within you, or maybe taking you further in your faith journey with Him, or possibly both.
  2. Ask for His help to trust Him in the process.
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Years ago, I planted tulips with my two-year-old who is now twenty. I’ve never had much success with bulbs. Whether the squirrels’ vigilance or my negligence, they never seem to return in proportion to my planting; some flourishing for a time then gone, some never blooming at all. But this past spring, I was surprised to see random splashes of colour sporadically brightening the earthremnants from those by-gone days.

It strikes me that just like these tulip bulbs, all that we painstakingly plant in our lives isn’t always seen right away. Sometimes the things we’ve sewn take years to bloom, buried in the dark recesses until just the right season. Sometimes they don’t bloom the way we expected, and other times we don’t see the results this side of heaven. But no effort is ever wasted, and even if we don’t see the results, God does.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  ~ Galatians 6:9

When beauty takes too long to flourish, we can be tempted to believe that our toil was wasted or that somehow we didn’t quite work hard enough, well enough, or smart enough. But even then, we don’t give in because we trust that even when all looks barren, God not only makes a way, but makes beauty as well.

The beauty might take longer than you thought. It might turn up unexpectedly and in a location you hadn’t imagined. But anywhere you nurture the soil, in time, beauty will flourish.

Whether a kind word deposited into a child’s heart, a hug given to a hurting soul, money given to help a cause, or time spent building into a life, or a communitynone are wasted. Every kindness, every determined effort, every weathered struggle, all the good that we didn’t give up on doing will bring an eventual harvest.

It’s always a blessing to see the fruits of our laboursome kind of beauty flourishing where it was plantedbut with God’s help, strength, and grace, even when there is no evidence of anything growing from the good we tried so hard to cultivate, we can also remember:

…we live by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

Be encouraged! It’s not over ’till it’s over…and even then, it’s not really over! Heaven awaits!

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  1. Are you weary with trying? Bring your cares to God and ask Him for faith to continue doing good.
  2. Don’t forget, God’s word says you will one day see a harvest if you don’t give up!

 

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