Blessed and Broken

What did I do to deserve this?  I asked that question many times when I struggled in the darkness of my desert.  I had served God as best I knew how.  Of course I knew I was not perfect (and never will be), but I was trying to be obedient.  I didn’t always make the best choices, but for the most part my heart was in the right place.  Yet I found myself lost in despair with no end in sight.  I was a broken man.  God, what are you doing?  Are you a sadist?  God, are you even there?

This weekend, Christians all over the world will celebrate Easter, and as part of that celebration most will take communion, reflecting on the great sacrifice that Jesus made for our sake.  The other day I was thinking about all of this and was struck by something that I had never thought of before.

The first Christian ‘communion’ took place at what is famously called the Last Supper.  Jesus and his disciples were sharing a meal around a table, minutes away from mankind’s greatest betrayal when Jesus did something strange.  He picked up a loaf of bread from the table and the Bible says that he blessed it and broke it.  He said that this loaf represented his body that was about to be broken, and asked his friends to share it with him as a sign of their acceptance of that sacrifice.  He invited them to accept his brokenness as the only path to their healing.  He blessed it.  THEN he broke it.

A lot of us don’t ever equate blessing with breaking.  In fact, there are a lot of people (Christians included) that see the two as being diametrically opposed.  They talk of the blessing of God in terms of promotions, financial windfalls and perfect health.  It’s absolutely true that those things are gracious gifts of God’s providence, and I am grateful for God’s generosity when ‘good’ things happen.  But there is a place of blessing that can only come through brokenness.  Sometimes our Lord even has a hand in that breaking.  Just ask Jesus.  Not long after the breaking of the bread, he found himself pleading with God to spare him the ‘cup’ that he was about to drink; the cup of torture, abandonment and death.  Jesus didn’t WANT to be broken.  But he also understood that sometimes suffering and brokenness is the only path to freedom.  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  God’s will was done.  Jesus submitted to the breaking, and by his sacrifice forever opened the door of eternal freedom to all who would be willing to walk through it.

Have you been broken by the Master?  You should know that his breaking follows his blessing.  In fact, the two acts are hard to separate.  It is precisely BECAUSE he loves you that he allows, or even causes you to be broken.  And if you will allow him, he will take the broken shards of your life and mold you into something beautiful.  You may bear the scars of your brokenness for the rest of your life, but you will be forever closer to his heart.  You can always tell when someone has submitted to the breaking of the Master.  They listen more intently.  They are slower to give a pat answer.  Their eyes ooze compassion (sometimes literally).  When you face the breaking hand of God as Jesus did, something changes.  The new maturity and humility with which you walk will make you a trophy of his grace that will draw those who are desperate for someone to just ‘be real’.  You become infinitely more useful to a world full of the broken.

It’s easier said than done, but I’m trying to approach times of breaking differently now.  When I feel broken by the hand of Jesus, I need to remember:  He is not a sadist.  He loves me.  He believes in me.  And he wants to bring me to new levels of blessing that can only be found through submitting to the breaking.  He should know.

 

Comments

Posted On
Apr 22, 2011
Posted By
Louis Charbonneau

Tim,
This reminds me a day I felt somewhat broken many years ago, and a pastor was visiting us and told us: ”Dieu ne nous fait que du bien” meaning exactly what you wrote about being broken and God doing us good. Since that time, when it is rough, God reminds me that and it helps a lot.
Good ”stuff’, I like it!
Louis

Posted On
Apr 22, 2011
Posted By
J p

Right on Tim And its all for The glory Of God. Love in Christ

Posted On
Sep 17, 2012
Posted By
Emeline Thermidor

You inspire me Tim! Thank you for being so open and vulnerable and so real! Many many blessings!

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