Celebrating 25 years online! 1996-2021
Brokenness is something we hear about regularly. Every time we hear or read prayer requests, we hear about brokenness. Bodies age, diseases wreak havoc, and people are in pain - physical, psychological-emotional, even spiritual. Sometimes, these are faith builders and sometimes they make faith challenging. We naturally focus on circumstances and fail to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. At least, I do. J.I. Packer writes, "Temptation is always two-sided...; so whenever we are conscious of Satan seeking to pull us down, we should remind ourselves that God is present, too, to keep us steady and to build us up through the harrowwing experience. That is something we must never forget" (p. 261, The J.I. Packer Classic Collection).
I agree with Packer, but what about when "the harrowsing experience" is not about temptation, but merely brokenness beyond one's control? And what if that brokenness even hurts another? For example, what if a wife struggles with panic attacks and this causes not only pain to herself, but pain to her husband. Neither I nor anyone in my family has had panic attacks, but I can identify with such a scenario. Have you ever been in a circumstance of brokenness where you feel out of control? I have...more than once.
In John 9:1-3 (NASB), the Scriptures say the following:
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him."
Do you, do I, do we view brokenness that way? Do we see it as an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed? Even if our prayers aren't answered the way we deem right, do we still view brokenness this way. After all, Isaiah 55:8 (NASB) quotes the LORD: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways." It seems the temptation that J.I. Packer speaks of is still there. Does the broken one take his pain to God or does he despair and fear? What's the Bible say?
NOTES: Job - God allows suffering John 16:33 - you will have trouble. 2 Cor?? no temptation is more than you can bear James - Suffering Reminder that this world is Not our home - Jesus not of this world. We are to be aliens and strangers. In 2006, I gave a talk....and I asked my brother who was on the front row why we eat. It is because we are designed to be sustained by something outside ourselves. And that is physically speaking. The same is true spiritually. Brokenness reminds us that we need Jesus every day. I have experienced brokenness and will experience it in the future as long as I live on this earth. That is not to be a pessimist as I have also experienced great joy and will do so in the future as well. My hope is that we can hand our brokenness over to Christ. Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. In conclude with this song.
BROKENNESS (Once in a Lifetime) Words by David Meece, Michael Hudson, Dwight Liles & Niles Borop Music by David Meece Copyright 1993 Meece Music (admin by) Word, Inc., Ariose Music & N.B. Music In my brokenness In my hour of darkness I will lift my hands And worship You In my brokenness In my time of sadness I will lift my voice And praise to You Time stands still As I kneel down before You Life draws near Like waves upon the shore You touch me In my brokenness In these whispering shadows I will lift the pieces Of my heart to You Time stands still As I kneel down before You Life is here Your waves of power And glory touch me In my brokenness In my hour of darkness I will lift my hands And worship You I will lift my hands And worship You
Ichthus Library: Personal Works