The Wholeness of the Broken
What does it mean to be broken? For my little girl, it meant tears, disappointment, and agony at the thought that a dear toy would be no more.
With eyes of despair and tears tumbling down her cheeks, I was responsible for delivering the news.
“Not all things that are broken can be fixed.”
I held her, and stroked her hair and sent her to bed with reassurances that “mama will try.” A hope was sparked in her heart but she still walked away with a frown.
It isn’t easy being broken – to be humbled, to walk with a limp (Genesis 32:31), to be grieved, to be made overwhelming aware of your frailty. We see people diseased, lost, lonely, suicidal, greedy, desperate, hateful, angry, abandoned, and confused.
We are so aware of brokenness around us, yet we often fail to see it in ourselves.
But I… I was broken. In many ways, I am still broken.
But, praise God, Jesus was broken too.
“He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
Do you see it there? Sandwiched between brokenness and wandering?
His punishment made us whole!
In order to be made whole, something (or someone) must first be broken and realize it is broken. The beautiful thing is that at the moment of my belief, my brokenness was replaced with His wholeness. And this isn’t simply a covering, like a costume I wear to sneak by and get the blessings of God; this is a whole-y complete cleansing. No. Not a cleansing, a new-ness.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:1
It’s an as-if-I-was-never-broken kind of new. This does not mean I am perfect by any measure of the word, but, in the words of Matthew Henry:
“And so great is the change the grace of God makes in the soul, that, as it follows, old things are passed away – old thoughts, old principles, and old practices, are passed away; and all these things must become new.”
This is a regeneration.
So, while I worked, nearly gluing my own fingers together in an effort to “make new” my girl’s precious toy, I was able to reflect on the truth that no, not all things that are broken can be fixed – this world is full of broken things. But our souls, our hearts, our thoughts, our past, our future, and our eternity, can be made new, made right, made whole in the hands of the Master Mender.
And when this world breaks us and our humanity haunts us, when the howling storms threaten our shores, He bears us up – our Gentle Savior. His cradling embrace – our shield and defender. And among the raging screams of a world in chaos, we hear His tender whisper, “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Hosea 2:10)
With a little pride in my step, the next morning I was able to present my girl with a fixed toy. All the words I wanted to say, that I had prepared to help her learn this lesson of brokenness and wholeness, escaped me in her joyful enthusiasm. So, maybe next time I will get to share these truths with her. Certainly there will be more broken toys, broken bones, and broken hearts as the years pass.
But for her to simply know this... to be broken before the Lord, in utter surrender to His Holiness for His Wholeness, is the best kind of broken to be.
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