When the world sees busted, He sees beauty.
What the world calls worthless, He calls worthy.
When the world tosses aside, disregards, or throws away,
He calls us by name, regards the lowly, and collects our tears.
For a great part of my life, I tried to hide my brokenness. I was ashamed of all the places that were not porcelain and perfect.
The world bombarded my brain with images of what I was supposed to strive for, pulling me away from the Creator who knew me before He formed the world.
The enemy is sneaky that way.
He will prey upon my so-called weaknesses, my emotions, and my heart.
All that time wasted focusing on what I didn’t have, when I should have been focusing on the gifts God had given me, and the person He was creating me to be.
The truth is that I will never measure up to the standards of this world –
likewise, there were many folks in the Bible who have walked this broken path before me:
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
Peter denied Christ
The book of Hebrews, chapter 11, reveals followers of Jesus who were far from perfect.
Yet they all have something in common - their faith.
Verse seven says, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”
Verse eight says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
Verse 27 says of Moses, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”
Jesus spoke to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, saying, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul then went on to boast about his weaknesses, awaiting Christ’s power to rest on him. The Greek word of order for that verse is simply, "Sufficient for you is the grace of me."
That short, but overwhelming sentence shatters the chatter of this world.
I recently read a book by Ann Voskamp, called, The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life. She wrote, “When the church isn't for the suffering and broken, then the church isn't for Christ. Because Jesus, with His pierced side, is always on the side of the broken.”
In a broken and sinful world, I must constantly remind myself not to conform to the standards set by a shattered society.
We are His and He has called us by name.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
We are His children, equipped with gifts to be used for His glory.
In the same book, Ann Voskamp also penned, “How can it be? When we're naked and ashamed and alone in our brokenness, Christ envelops us with His intimate grace. When we're rejected and abandoned and feel beyond wanting, Jesus cups our face: "Come close, my Beloved." When we're dirty and tear-stained and despairing, Jesus Christ is attracted to us and proposes undying love: "All that you're carrying I take... and all that I am is yours." How do you ever get over that?”
When walking through a crowd, I often wonder if people wore a nametag based on their brokenness, what would they say?
“Hello, my name is:”
I know that my nametag would be filled with declarations of brokenness.
How about yours?
I truly believe that each person we encounter, young or aged, is familiar with feelings of brokenness. If we could read their nametags, I wonder if we would we be more compassionate to sufferings of our neighbors or even to strangers that God places before us.
Recognizing our own broken places and knowing that they do not define who we once were or who we still are, is a big step in releasing the grip that those weaknesses have on us.
I encourage you today to hand over your “nametag” to God in prayer, handing it all over to Him.
He is mighty, He is powerful, and He is always good.
He wants us to be desperately thirsty for Him, so that He may do His work through us.