With three kids (10, 8 and 1), there’s no shortage of toys, books, and games in our home. Therefore, there’s ample opportunity for things to break.
This morning, it was a cereal bowl in the sink (I look forward to repairing the disposal again). Earlier, it was a part of a “rainbow loom.” Before that, a doll got a lazy eye.
And because lots of things break, lots of feelings are crushed.
“How can I make this bracelet without that loom?!”
“Mom, that doll is creeping me out.”
Depending on what and how many objects break, it can be a very long day in our home.
Broken things are typically thought of as useless. It’s rare that an object, having been busted apart, can regain its previous function. While that might be true for objects, it’s completely opposite of what it means to be a Christian. God breaks us as a means of grace. Brokenness is a divine mechanism to transform us into the image of Christ.
David’s prayer in Psalm 13 reflects this beautifully.
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
The overall impression of David’s prayer is that while God may seem very absent in trying times, He’s actually profoundly at work. It’s as if the fact that He seems like He’s not is the proof that He is. As David’s own prayer shows, this is very difficult to accept in the moment of one’s brokenness. But ironically, David is praying. He’s talking to the very God he feels that has abandoned him in his suffering, which implies that deep down, David knows God is very much at work in this moment of brokenness. What this means is that praying through such moments is a very powerful tool for embracing His strength in our weakness.
Prayer is means by which we become whole people even as we are broken people.
So if you’re a broken person today, know that God is at work, and that prayer can be the means by which you realize how you are being made whole through the pain. You don’t have to like it. Becoming whole through brokenness is not about the quality of your faith, but about the object of your faith.
If you’re not a broken person today, your time will come. God will determine at a specific point and time to give you more character … to make you a more complete person. And He will do this by breaking you.
Because a broken person is a whole person.