Sometimes you think that you have been broken enough. You wear your scars as badges, medals of Honor that show just how much you have been through pain and just how much you have or are overcoming; what testimonies are made of. But sometimes, you realize that you are not even half-way on the road to breaking, and all you have is a sprained finger or a broken nail. Other parts are yet to be broken; you are yet to feel true pain; you are yet to know pain beyond comprehension. But you relate with Job so much, you don’t think it could possibly get ‘worse’.
It’s easy to pray, “Lord break me” until you are actually broken; until you have tried to gather up the pieces and glue them together in a refurbished package (all improved with mini battle scars), clutching at your pieces but they keep cutting deeper until you lay them down; until you have nothing else to give but that brokenness; until you have no words but tears and not even your closest of friends can understand the mumbling beneath your breath, trying to explain where you are at; until God is all you have – not just in words, but in reality; when all the pillars are pulled out from under you and your only shelter within the rubble is His covering.
It’s easy to see the plan and purpose when you are standing, when the pain is just manageable, when not all of your nights end with you in tear-soaked pillows, runny noses and an aching heart. It’s easier to handle everything until you feel like you cannot handle anything else; that any addition to your situation will break you. It’s easier when scripture is present, like a constant hug reassuring you that all is well (or will be). But it gets harder when your reassurance suddenly feels like a cliché and you have to keep reminding yourself that you are called to live by faith and not by feelings; not even by the reality that starkly stares you in the eye. And though you want to close your eyes and hide, you know that that is not what faith is. Faith is facing the monster but knowing who the victory belongs to; knowing that the finished work of the cross already has you covered. But you still have a long way to go. You still have battles ahead, but it feels like you are running on dregs – the little tit bits left behind after your long journey and you can barely live on them; barely drink these drops to keep you till you get to the next well, but you still hear Him whisper, “Come to the well, drink of Me, I am living water, you will thirst no more”; barely nibble on these crumbs until you can get to the next fresh-bread-stop, but you still hear Him whisper, “Eat of Me, I am the bread of life”. And even when He is all the life you need but can’t find the strength to reach out, still you hear Him whisper, “My grace is sufficient for you”.
Brokenness comes from our own mistakes sometimes. That doesn’t make it any easier, but it can make it harder. You try so hard to sweep the dirt under the rug, or clean up so well so you can now approach God for His holy breaking. But then He says, “Let me work this also to make you better. Stop trying to fix it first before handing it over to Me.” And you stand, with a blank look on your face, looking at this thing you need to fix that God is asking for, and you wonder, “Really Lord? I should be punished for my transgression. Let me handle it; You don’t need to get Your hands dirty with my mess.” But He responds, “Listen child, I am all you need and I am all you have. There’s no tweaking that will fix your heart. Only I can.” And you struggle, trying to be still in the silence. Then you battle, not to jump at the wheel trying to get things in control.
Sometimes you think you have been broken enough, but then you read the Word and your mirror is foggy. You have not been representing Christ in all fullness. You have unknowingly picked out some things and kept them for yourself: pride, impatience, subtle rudeness, lack of compassion, career, goals and dreams. You have carefully guarded them and done everything in your power to hold onto them and keep them as you would like. Because letting them go is too confusing and you need assurance. Because being transformed into anything else must require work and an overnight work is okay; but a lifetime is too much commitment. But then a lifetime is all you have to prepare for eternity, not any shorter. And we may want things easier in life, but instead of getting what we want, we can have what God wants: and that is the best, even in pain or no pain.
Psalms 51: 17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
So my question is, “Can I let Him break me, even beyond the ‘comfortable’ pain and into the excruciating? Will I raise my hands in surrender to let Him have His way with me or will I walk so close to where He wants me but far enough to remain unchanged?”