Have you heard the phrase, “Like a bull in a China shop”?
Imagine with me a massive bull in a store that sells the most delicate and beautiful porcelain vessels. A bull has no business being inside of a store at all, yet if you imagine the bull bucking everywhere, you can almost hear the sound of teacups and saucers shattering on the floor. Who would want to clean up that mess? Who would want to buy broken pieces?
Much like fine china, all of us are delicate vessels, designed with the utmost care and intricacy. However, we have a very real enemy who is like that bull in a china shop- bucking and goring at our lives so he can destroy us and take away our worth and our opportunities for future use. You see he doesn’t just stop once we’ve been shattered by the trials of life, but he continues to stomp and crush and convince us that we are trash and no longer useful. His lies shove us into the dark of isolation. But we were not created to be isolated and alone with our brokenness. We were meant to live mended and whole; sharing life (the perfect and the broken pieces) with the community we belong to. Not to glorify the pain but to show how through the pain, God’s power can restore. Turning what was meant for destruction into hope that is enduring.
Friend, some of the most crushed parts of our past are the exact spots that God wants to use to bring hope to others. All of our broken pieces are precious and valuable to Him. What the enemy saw as broken and worthless, God sees as valuable and worthwhile.
We see this truth in the life of a man named Joseph.
Joseph’s story may have begun with disruption and messy parts, but the broken places in his life never stopped him from being helpful in the lives of others. He used each gift he had been given no matter the place- whether it was in a prison cell or a palace. Seriously, I encourage you to read the entire story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. It is well worth your time. My favorite part in his story comes when Joseph reunites with his brothers years after they sold him into slavery:
“Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Genesis 45:4-7 NIV)
Have you ever sifted through the broken pieces of your life, combing through the wreckage to see what was left? Are you currently walking through a messed up time, wondering if God could ever use those painful parts to save someone else’s life?
Maybe your story is similar to Joseph’s and you were sent ahead to walk through the brokenness in order to declare to others that there is hope even after your life looks shattered. Even when if you feel like you’ve been ransacked, you can be the one to tell others that there is still worth beyond the debris.
Friend, I wholeheartedly believe our brokenness possesses beauty- and that beauty brings us into places and conversations with others who desperately need to be reminded of the goodness of God.
We are reminded in Romans:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Did you catch that?
In. All. Things.
In sickness and health, in plenty and in want, in trial or pain, in wholeness or even brokenness…Our God works for the good of those who love Him.
Let’s pray friend:
Dear Heavenly Father, today we say a simple prayer: Lord we give you our story and our broken places. We offer up our lives to You in trust and faith and ask that You, Lord, would use every piece to bring honor to Your Great Name. Lord, we thank You for seeing value within us even when it has been hard of us to recognize it with our own eyes. God, we believe You are working on our behalf and You can redeem back what the enemy has tried to destroy in our lives. Help us to hold onto Your promises and help us live lives that declare hope to everyone we come in contact with. Amen.
Go the extra mile:
Check out “Wasteland” from NeedToBreathe. We had the privilege of seeing this band preform it live at Red Rocks and what an encouragement it was then and even now! I hope it encourages you!