Stronger for the Breaking

January has been a month of breaking. On so many levels. In the last few weeks, it seems as though every time I turn around, something or someone is breaking. Broken vehicles, broken covenants, a broken furnace, broken finances, broken relationships, a child’s broken health, friends broken by the separation of death and the finality of suicide, broken promises, a home broken into, and hearts simply broken by too many bad choices. And in the breaking, I have felt nearly shattered.

The light within has flickered with the steady waves of disappointment until all I can do is pour my heart out to my Father. And even then, my words have seemed too many or too few.

It’s so tempting to approach God on my own terms. So hard to keep from leaning upon my own wisdom, from interjecting my own short-sighted desires into my prayers. It’s so easy to let my tongue rule my heart instead of allowing God’s Word to rule them both.

For in the breaking, there is not only the desire for healing, there is a host of hurt, anger, disappointment, frustration, and a myriad of other less than holy traits that long to break free in me. And though I know what is right and what God desires from me, there is a heart that still so easily wants to succumb to the unholy. There’s still a yearning to turn to the “dark side” of unbelief.

HOW can God possibly fix all this brokenness? How can this shattered, ground-into-the-finest-of-dust brokenness ever be anything other? How can something good come from this wreck of humanity left bleeding and gasping for breath by the wayside? How will restoration find its way into so many broken places? Into so many broken people?

And that is when His Spirit reminds me to think upon His Word. To once again turn to those long-forgotten promises that have withstood the test of time and trial. Those ancient paths that have guided me through other broken places, other times when my heart was wont to crumble in despair. And into the stillness of a heart prostrate before His throne, He speaks truth yet again:

A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench; He will bring forth justice in truth. (Isaiah 42:3)

And I grasp at this truth that is known in the depths of my soul. I cling to His mercy… and find it strong enough.

For though these temporal trials crash against me, they cannot overwhelm the Lover of my soul. And in resting within the hand of the Most High, I am held. Held above my sorrows. Held securely. Held in favor.

And that dimly burning wick? It is kindled once more by the breath of the Creator who first breathed it to life.

The glowing grows with remembrance of the One whose gentleness restores me.

Bruises bathed with healing balm of heaven’s glory.

Brokenness rebuilt, beautified from the inside out by Hands that crafted the universe.

A heart set free, though circumstances remain.

Because I trust in the One who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Because I choose to rest in the mercies of the One who remains constant always.

Even when I’m broken. Perhaps, especially then.

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