My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:17, NIV).
Friend to Friend
He was a friend … a pastor visiting my husband and me for a few days. He had come for help and advice because his wife was broken – a statement that made me just a tad bit angry for some reason. I didn’t really know why it made me angry, but it did.
“John, what did you mean when you said your wife is broken?” I asked. His eyes filled with tears as he explained, “She has been diagnosed with clinical depression. Mary, you have never met her, but she is the strongest woman I have ever known. She is talented, godly, and beautiful. But six months ago, she broke. It’s like she shattered into a million pieces … and we don’t know how to put them back together. I can’t help her. And it is killing me!” With that, he began to weep.
Dan and I tried our best to encourage him.
We prayed with him.
We shared Scripture with him.
We promised to continue to pray for him and his wife.
But it didn’t seem like enough.
You see I am a fixer. If something is broken, I fix it. How hard is that? I had lived my life on the premise that if I was in some kind of pit, I built a bridge and got over it. Simple. It had been working fairly well … so far.
I don’t like broken things. Broken is frustrating. Fixed is good. Right? That is the way the human mind works – which is so often polar opposite to the way God’s mind works.
God’s ways really are so much higher than ours, and His thoughts are absolutely so much higher than ours. And I am so glad! I really do not want a God I can explain or fully understand. I desperately need a God who is supernatural … and my God is!
It was only a matter of months until I found myself at the bottom of that same dark pit of clinical depression. I, too, was broken. And for the first time in my life, I could not fix it. Not alone. It took an army of family, friends, and doctors … all used by God to bring His healing in His time.
And that is when I discovered an amazing truth that has changed the way I do everything – life, ministry – absolutely everything!
God loves broken.
Boom! There it is!
I know! It sounds backwards doesn’t it? But the fact is that His light shines best through the broken places in our lives. While we frantically try to fill those broken places with something … anything … He asks us to stop, be still, rest in Him, and let Him fill each wounded, broken place in our lives with His healing grace and love and forgiveness. When we do, He makes us stronger than we ever thought we could be.
And where is our greatest source of strength? Yep! You got it – in those broken places. And that is not all. It is from those broken places that He allows us to impact the lives of others who are broken.
M.R. DeHann says it beautifully:
“God used two broken stones tablets to cause the Israelites to repent of their disobedience.
God used broken earthen vessels to give the impression of an enormous army accompanying Gideon.
God used a broken heart to return King David to himself.
God used a broken roof to provide access for a cripple to be lowered by four faithful friends into the healing presence of Jesus.
God used broken loaves to feed five thousand and then some.
God used broken fishing nest to challenge the disciple to depend on him rather than their own efforts for their needs.
God used a broken ship to steer Paul to the island of Malta to reveal the gospel to the natives there.
God used a broken body, pierced for our sins, to provide salvation for all humankind.”
Today, embrace the pain in your life. Celebrate the broken places. Surrender them to your God and let Him heal them for your good and His glory.
Father, I come to You – broken, shattered and desperate for You. I come to You in complete surrender. Please lift me out of this pit and show me the way, Lord.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 40:1-3. “I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”
Circle all of the “action” words in these verses. What does God ask you to do? What does God say He will do? Do you believe Him? Are you willing to let Him be God in your life?
More from the Girlfriends
Want to learn how to embrace the broken places in your life? Hear Mary’s story of hope and encouragement in her MP3 download, Coming Out of the Dark.