The Gift of Brokenness

Broken

I come before You, once again–

Shattered pieces–broken,

Realizing I have failed

To reach the standard of perfection.

You reach down, picking up the pieces,

Washed clean with contrite tears,

Then touch my heart and gently whisper,

As You draw me near.

“I see beauty, child,

There is a beauty of the sunrise,

Another beauty of the dark,

There is a beauty in the clear skies,

Another beauty in the storm,

There is a beauty of the lilies,

Another beauty of cactus thorn,

There is a beauty in the innocent heart,

Yet–still–there’s beauty in the torn.

“When you are broken,

Then You come to Me,

And I can make you

Into a treasured beauty.

When you are whole,

You drift away,

I cannot touch you heart.

You hide its hardness behind your pride

Until you’re broken.”

(C) Yolanda Lichty 2014

Mushrooms and fungi like these grow best in the decaying brokenness of nature.

The gift of brokenness: it’s an old theme really, one I’ve written about before. It’s the paradox of the world: a Holy God wants me, wants all of mankind in our brokenness. A Holy God, One Who is perfect, Who always is all that He should be wants to heal us imperfect, incomplete beings.

There are multiple definitions of holy (something Jon Westlund has devoted an entire blog to unearthing). As he explores, these definitions include the following: set apart, to prepare, and whole. I like the last one.

Holiness is wholeness.

Startling isn’t it, that by the healing of the Great Physician, you and I can be holy; by His grace and power He makes us whole. All we need to do is admit, “I am broken. I am a sinner. I am not worthy. I need You to heal me, Jesus.” Then, the gift is ours.

But while it’s simple, it’s incredibly hard to be humble enough to recognize our need when the enemy does all he can to lull us with “pretty good” complacency.

James, the brother of Jesus, gave us this wisdom:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." James 4:7-10

Notice the strong verbs, the deliberate action required of us.

Submit to God. Resist the devil. Draw nigh to God. Cleanse your actions. Purify your desires. Be afflicted, mourn, and weep for your sin. Humble yourselves.

As simple as it is to live in holiness, it is also incredibly hard. To become holy people means that we must constantly recognize and bring to Christ our lack of holiness–our brokenness. As a perfectionist, the last thing I want to acknowledge is my imperfections. I need to sacrifice my pride on the altar to be acceptable to Christ. To become holy, I must become humble. To become humble, I must admit my own lack of humility.

Yet it is so worth it. Notice the promise at the end of James’ words. “He shall lift you up.” (James 4:10b)

God will lift you up.

When we humble ourselves before God and daily bring to Him our brokenness, He lifts us up to set us in “heavenly places.” (Ephesians 2:6) There are two things that will make heaven heavenly. That we will be whole, and that we will be forever with the One Who made us and healed us into holiness.

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