Thursday, October 9, 2008

Broken

To say that I've felt "broken" this past week is an understatement. I've felt broken, as if all the pieces have been scattered all over the floor and I can't reach them to put them back together. I've been struggling with why I've felt this way. I know there are areas in my life that need revamping. I need to sit down, refocus, and recommit my wants, needs and desires. I've been go, go, go lately that I started to run on auto pilot. Unfortunately, I need fuel to keep running and I ran out of fuel.

Alright, that's enough analogies, but that's exactly how I felt. I've been tired, feeling sick, irritated, grumpy and unhappy. Truthfully. All you moms know what happens when you feel like that, right? You don't have as much patience for your children and family as you should.

Amazingly, I've been reading these short devotionals from Dr Stanley and this week is about brokeness. This was yesterdays.....

Brokenness: The Principle
John 12:24-25

Brokenness hurts, and most of us would rather live without any seasons of pain. Yet during such times, the Lord often does His greatest work in our lives, reshaping and realigning us for His divine purposes.

Jesus beautifully explains the principle of brokenness in John 12:24-25, where He compares our life to a single grain of wheat. If we hold a kernel in our hands, nothing will happen. If we carefully place it in a jar or on a shelf for safekeeping, it will just sit there indefinitely. In its safety, the grain will essentially be useless.

However, if that kernel is placed in the soil where its protective layer is stripped away, something amazing happens. Before long, a little sprout will emerge from the earth and start to grow into something different, useful, and beautiful. Moreover, that new stalk will produce more grains that can be planted, and the stalks they produce will do the same. It's an amazing cycle of life, wherein a single kernel can lead to countless stalks of wheat. But it has to start with the brokenness of one grain.

Jesus did not just speak this example; He lived it. By sacrificing Himself, He was broken and placed in the ground. From that brokenness came new life for us all. From that one "grain," countless new believers, each with a new life, have sprung forth.

Are you feeling broken today? If so, remember the principle of the broken grain. God has certainly not abandoned you; instead, He may be leading you into a season of radical new growth.

Hmmm...that wasn't speaking to me, was it? So, after breaking down in tears after reading this I made an effort to try and keep my brokenness in the right perspective. That meant I needed to be leaning on God at all times for my strength.

Then I read todays devotional...

A Life of Becoming
2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Probably the greatest obstacle to understanding God's purpose for brokenness is this: Most believers think of Christianity as something we do. We pray. We read the Bible. We go to church. We sing hymns. We give money. We do and do--and assume that's the Christian life. It's not.

Authentic Christianity is about becoming rather than doing. The life of faith that God designed involves receiving Jesus into our hearts and allowing Him to change our habits, mindset, beliefs, interests, and concerns so we become more and more like Him.

Realizing this will change our perspective on the heartache we must endure. You see, when we recognize that the Christian life is about Jesus' persistent work of "re-creation" in our lives, then the role of brokenness makes more sense. It's the process God uses to strip us of things that have become, or may one day become, an obstacle to our growth. The Lord also uses this tool to address issues we may have declared "off limits" to Him, such as unhealthy behaviors or relationships that we rationalize.

God doesn't want to be Lord of most of your life; He wants to be Lord of all of your life! So He zeroes in on areas of self-will and self-sufficiency to remove everything within us that relies on "self." He uses brokenness to remove those inclinations so that we can live moment by moment, day by day, in full dependence on Him.

Open your heart, and ask God to reveal any selfish strongholds. Let Him break unhealthy behavior patterns.

I had become focused on "doing" and not "becoming". See how easy it is to forget? See how easy it is to think that we're "doing" the right thing, but in reality we're not. We're trying to do all the right things on our own and with our own strength. No wonder we crash and burn so quickly.

Of course, we're never going to have super human strength to do every task every day, but that's good. We need to have strength from God to complete what He's put before us. We need to commit our works to God and let Him direct our paths (Proverbs 16:3).

With all that said, I'm praying for God to reveal things to me that I was blinded to before.

1 comment:

Irritable Mother said...

Oh, Steph, I have learned that brokenness is a very good place to be, because when I am there, I am in His hands!
Here's to being broken and becoming whole!