Brokenness. What a complex and terrifying word! What does it mean to be broken? In my “About Me” page, I share the feelings I had of being broken as I laid in a hospital recovering from a debilitating stroke. Going through all the pain in therapy, the feeling of helplessness, and the mind numbing nightmares I cannot comprehend how I can now honestly say the experiences were divine blessings from God.
However, being broken can sometimes involve more than your physical health. There are so many ways we can experience some form of brokenness. Here are just a few examples that I feel apply to most of us at some point in our lives.
- Broken Promises-leading to divorce or lost relationships
- Broken Spirit-totally subdued emotionally/without hope
- Broken Health-weakened with less strength/vitality
- Broken Heart-crushed by grief/loss of a loved one
- Broken Finances-budget/monies out of order
As I mentioned, some scary situations right? Nobody wants to think about being faced with circumstances like these but I have some wonderful news! A lot of these same occurrences can allow us to receive blessings from our Heavenly father but a lot depends on how we respond.
After being released from the hospital, I would receive visits from doctors checking up on the different aspects of my recovery. At the end of some of the conversations, I would be asked, “Would you like me to give you “something”? At first I did not understand. My brain was scrambled anyway but I began to realize they meant give me something for depression. I said no not because I was not depressed but I was more afraid of what was already going on with my brain as it was trying to heal.
I even said to one doctor, “No I’m good. I’ve realized God allowed this to happen for a reason.” He looked at me and walked out thinking I was probably crazy! Even though I said that, when I returned to my parent’s home to continue in my recovery, I had to know more. Why did God allow this to happen? I thought I lived as a “pretty good” guy.
I began to listen to different Bible teachings and spent time digging deep into God’s word because I knew there was a reason God allowed me to survive a stroke that paralyzed my entire left side. A beautiful blessing that has come of all of this is my desire to live a life that is completely obedient and trusting of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I want to share with you today 7 Developments that occurred as God takes us from being broken to receiving Beautiful Blessings from God. I am going to share these in the order I believe they took place. There may be others but 7 is a perfect number that represents Christ so I am going to stick with the seven that God has laid on my heart based on my experience.
1-Displays our Sin. Like I said earlier, I thought I lived a pretty good life but to what or whom was I comparing it too? God is PERFECT and HOLY and He cannot tolerate sin. So even though I was not robbing a bank or stealing the crown jewels, I still was committing sin. There were moments of selfishness I struggled with, my desire for money had gone beyond just providing for myself and had become consumed with the desire to succeed to the detriment of my health. Look at what God had Moses tell the Israelites about sin!
But if you will not do so, you will have sinned against the Lord and behold your sin will find you out!” Numbers 32:23.
Now that’s a warning! Unlike our parents, teachers, employers, or even friends God sees EVERYTHING! Even the quote “little” sins that we sometimes give different meanings that don’t sound to bad like “backslid”, or “fell away from God” no that’s still sinning!
2-Destroys our Pride. This is one that is easy to sneak up on us. Pride…there is nothing wrong with having feelings of pride but where is that pride placed? Are we wanting people to look at us or are we seeking that God receives all the glory? After all, He is the one that has blessed us with our gifts and talents. We cannot take our next breath without God allowing it! Personally, I never thanked God publicly for the successes and provisions He provided. I paraded every award I could all over my office but never gave God the credit. It was all about my efforts and dedication to my craft. Where was my sincere humility and gratitude for the God who created me?
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Proverbs 16:18.
It would be easy to just leave it there but let me say this; pride can lead to many other sins. Being judgmental, unkind, and even mean at times. Just something to think on and seriously contemplate!
3-Demolishes our self-reliance. There are times in our lives when we put trust in something or someone else other than God. Growing up I thought that if I had enough money, everything would be perfect. I’d have no worries at all. There were times as I began to date, I truly felt that I would be whole in the right relationship. However, God wants us to be utterly and completely dependent on Him. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to move us toward Him. I want to share a quick story to see where I am coming from on this topic.
I was about 13 years old and I was excited because I had made the basketball team at school. Everybody on the team had fancy basketball shoes, Nike, Chuck Taylors by Converse and I only had a pair of lime green running shoes with yellow stripes! Oh the horror! Our uniform colors were blue and gold but that’s all we could afford at the time. I begged my mother every day, nagged her every time I saw her until one day she replied in a very restrained voice, “If you want some Nike shoes, you better get some Nike money.” That was it? I got on my bike and rode down a few blocks to the corner drugstore. I explained my plight to the owner and offered to do anything to help out. He hired me as a stock boy and I had my first real job! The glee I had when I went to my mom with my hard earned money and said, “when can we go shopping?” This started me down that dangerous path of self-reliance.
From that point on I had always been determined to “find a way” without a thought for sincere prayer or thankfulness of what I did have. Work ethic, determination are admirable qualities but when we move forward without seeking God’s wisdom and direction, we are moving away from His intended plans sometimes even delaying blessings intended for us.
The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped; therefore; my heart exults and with my song I shall thank Him.” Psalms 28:7
4-Determines our Path. When we experience circumstances of feeling broken that seem like they are never ending and ongoing, there are two paths we can take. We can become angry at God and wallow in self-pity or we can put our complete trust in Him. When we put our faith in God’s plan we begin to see His blessings. We have a indescribable peace that He offers even in the most difficult of “broken” situations.
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust…” Psalm 40:4.
The path we choose is critical to discovering God’s will for our lives. I would never have imagined in a million years the opportunity to write on this blog sharing God’s word through the lenses of my life. There is so much that He has planned for us in accomplishing His will. There are three exciting developments that take place allowing us to experience the beautiful blessings of God! I will share with you the final three in my post next week as we lead up to the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection in a couple weeks. Keep an eye out for part II of this series and be encouraged while you trust in Him!
Food for Thought
Have you experienced unexpected blessings from your brokenness? Share in the comments as we encourage one another!