I Saw The Lord
Do you ever have those times in your life when you are so very painfully aware of your brokenness. I don’t mean broken like sad broken or hurt broken or sick broken. I’m talking about the broken we can all identify with: human broken.
If you’re not broken, then you’re kidding yourself. We all have our pitfalls (whether we care to admit to them or not) that leave us in pieces. We aren’t in one, whole, perfect piece. We’re full of the cracks and chinks caused by our mistakes and poor choices.
We are all broken, but it’s how we react to our brokenness that determines which path our life will take.
I have been made aware of my personal brokenness in a real and undeniable way this year through the lens of grief. I sometimes get so wrapped up in my hurt that I let my broken-self do all the talking. I mistreat people, I act selfishly, I keep my guard up, and I forget to do the things the people near me are counting on. These aren’t excuses as much as confessions.
Unfortunately/fortunately I have been made painfully aware of my brokenness through my entire adult life (those of you who know me personally know that I’m not exaggerating: there has been a lot to deal with). But being aware of my brokenness is what leads me to the path of healing.
Yesterday, I read this quote by the oh-so-wise Oswald Chambers (from My Utmost For His Highest):
Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.” Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died – I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or – I saw the Lord?
Here’s where I’m about to go really deep on you (as if this wasn’t enough), but stick with me because I’m hoping that you might learn from my own brokenness.
Chambers uses the phrase “in the year…I saw the Lord,” which refers to Isaiah 6:1
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…
[Quick history lesson: King Uzziah was the ultimate, man’s man, hero of Judea. He was the Reagan or JFK type hero of Israel and when he died, all the young people like Isaiah would’ve been absolutely destroyed by grief. In Isaiah’s mind, no one would ever measure up to the fame of King Uzziah.]
Long story short, Isaiah realizes that his grief has revealed his brokenness and it leaves him raw. Isaiah pleads with God to fix him, and only then does his ministry begin. Isaiah goes on to be one, if not the most, prominent prophets of all time.
If we were loyal enough to the old, it can leave us bitter toward the new. (Beth Moore in Breaking Free)
How often do we let our broken nature define us and keep us from moving forward? For me, this year in particular, it’s quite often. More than I’d care to admit.
This past weekend, I was reminded of a story I hadn’t heard in awhile and it challenged me to fight for healing until I am no longer broken.
In Mark 9:14-29, a desperate father comes to Jesus’ disciples, seeking healing for his son. His son had been in rough shape since he was very young and the father has reached the end of his rope. Finally the dad approaches Jesus and asks for healing for his son if Jesus can.
I can only imagine how incredulous Jesus must have felt and how tempting it would be for him to respond with something really snarky. He comes pretty close (read his answer here).
The father’s response:
“I do believe, but help me in my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
That’s exactly how I’m feeling about my own brokenness. I believe that God is able to fix me, but I struggle with unbelief that he actually will.
All this to say that people have experienced brokenness for all of history. Isaiah was broken; God healed him and gave him an influential ministry. The father of the sick boy was broken; Jesus healed his son and, therefore, healed the father’s broken belief. I am broken and God is in the process of healing me, as well.
In the midst of your brokenness, will you wallow and sink further into it, or will you choose to “see the Lord” and allow him to heal you, since he’s the only one who can anyways?