Does Life Just Suck Right Now? The Gift of Brokenness
Jonah is in the belly of a fish, you are in a fight for your life, a relationship, your sanity, the grip of sin, a desire for healing, a _________ and you scream at God, “WHY????!!!!” Whether your actions have brought you to this point, or the mess of life has got you here, being at the bottom, totally broken, sucks. No one loves the pain of brokenness, but what if part of that pain, part of your very real heartache, part of your sadness and helplessness, was a gift? I realize what I just said may anger you, may make you stop reading, but please, hear me out because if what I said is not true then whatever you’ve been through, or are going through, is just dark, meaningless despair. If, on the other hand, there is some sort of gift in the midst of your pain then you can have a glimmer of hope despite the brokenness.
What is the gift of brokenness?
The gift of brokenness is a revelation or remembrance of this truth: You are completely dependent on God. Pastor and author Tim Keller says, “It is only when you reach the very bottom, when everything falls apart, when all your schemes and resources are broken and exhausted, that you are finally open to learning how to completely depend on God. You must lose your life to find your life.” The last part of this quote are the words of Jesus and are a promise to those who die to themselves to live for Christ. This is the gift in the midst of pain. By allowing your desperation to reveal your utter helplessness, you begin to get a richer, more profound grasp of your complete dependence on God. This is a hard concept for so many in the Western world where we aren’t really desperate for anything and where dependence on anyone is seen as negative. The reality is that desperate dependence is exactly where God is trying to get you because He knows best and wants what’s best.
Knowing that your brokenness is lined with a gift from God does not mean that you don’t wrestle with the “why” question, faking a smile because “there is a gift in there,” but a belief that there is a gift invites you to see your circumstances with colors of hope. Instead of only focusing on the outcome, only satisfied when things get better, you can engage with God, stripped of all your strength, and begin to learn what holy dependence on God means. This is not easy. A short blog about how God may be breaking you to get you to be dependent on Him so you can experience true life will not make your brokenness enjoyable, BUT, I pray, that it does give you an opportunity to pause from screaming “WHY????!!!,” to hear God’s response. It may just be… “Because I want you to learn complete dependence on me. I want you to find your life.”