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The Gift of a Broken Heart

This is second article in as many weeks in which I have addressed the subject of brokenness. I will leave it to your own speculation as to why this subject is so important to me. I write only because I suspect that these may be words that others might need to hear as well.

A subtle change in the tone of the teaching has emerged in the church today. Hip young motivational preachers strut back and forth across digitally enhanced platforms today, nattily dressed in their torn jeans and t-shirts declaring that Jesus came to make us whole. 

“You’ve been abused, betrayed, forsaken, mocked, and accused. The enemy has tried to destroy you and you walk around like broken shards of glass in a paper bag. God loves you and wants to hold you in His lap like a daddy and make it all better.”

It is one of the buzzwords of the day. Jesus wants to make you whole again. He’ll take away all the pain, soothe all our wounds, and make you happy. It's a great message, it's an encouraging message, a hopeful message, it's a "live your best life now" message. Of course, the weakness of this message isn’t that it's not a true message, but that it is an incomplete message. It is a dynamic and encouraging message often can leave out an important reality of our lives:

The sweetness of wholeness is often squeezed out of the reality of our brokenness.

Vance Havner says, “God uses broken things: broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength, and broken people to do great things.”

A crushed grape produces a sweet wine and when the petal of the rose is crushed it yields an intoxicating aroma. Jesus knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane crushed and broken beneath the weight of the task that lay before Him. The writer of the Book of Hebrews makes a stunning declaration that we should “look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the shame of the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2)

When Saul of Tarsus was converted on the road to Damascus, the Lord said, “For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.” (Acts 9:16) When James and John sought seats of honor on the left and right of Jesus he asked them, "Can you drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and can you be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" With absolutely no comprehension of what Jesus was asking they replied, "We are able." (Matthew 20:22)

Brokenness is one thing we all have in common. Brokenness is one thing we all have in common with Jesus. Jesus warned that in this world we would have tribulation but that we should not be discouraged by our trouble because He has overcome the world. We strive to avoid the adversity that brings brokenness into our lives. We avoid pain, shy away from difficulties, feeling that somehow God has abandoned us in our time of trouble. We don’t understand that brokenness is a powerful teacher, and it is only in our struggles that we become stronger. Ease makes us weak, not strong, and our brokenness allows us to see and share in the pain of those around us. 

The scriptures teaches us little if we do not learn that God uses broken people.

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