“I have become like broken pottery…” Psalm 31:12
From broken and useless….to sharp and piercing.
There is a brokenness common to man – the cumulative destruction of sin. Within our very nature is the propensity, “our own evil desire” to be dragged away, enticed and enthralled. An alluring storefront to every dark behavior beckons us in. James chapter 1:13-15 describes this entrapment and the end result…smashed lives, broken families, despair that leads to death.
There is, however, a brokenness common to the believer – even as one strives to walk in God’s favor and light. They have not availed themselves to darkness but avail themselves to God – offering their lives as His temple in which He may dwell. Where He dwells, however, He must govern and reign. Every aspect of our life then falls under God’s authority. He will build up, demolish, give and take away whatever is necessary to make our temporary lives useful for His eternal kingdom.
There is a great truth, however, for both the repentant sinner and faithful believer – God can greatly use life’s broken pieces for His glory – confounding the powers of darkness and forging ahead with His Kingdom.
When man is striving for excellence in this world, he builds himself up, educates, trains, and produces – networking his skills and accomplishments – for accolades and gain. When God is working His excellence in a man, He unravels, crushes, and separates – clearing out the ‘temple’ for His supernatural presence. There is often pain, loss, confusion and disappointment. As a “living sacrifice unto the Lord” our ‘personal kingdoms’ – careers, family life, possessions – become God’s domain.
Yes, He is our loving heavenly Father….but He is also a Man of War, a Consuming Fire, and Righteous Judge. We are not just His sheep, but solders trained by Him for battle – the spoils of which have eternal value.the souls of men.
When our lives are ‘cracked’, we often glue the pieces and move on. When our lives are smashed, there is an undoing that God and only God can redeem as He may well be the hammer that shattered our ‘kingdom’.
In Genesis 39, Joseph, left for dead by his brothers, rises up with the favor and prosperity from God within Pharaoh’s kingdom. His life is governed by God and yet, with divine purpose, slander and false accusation puts this favored and faithful youth in prison. “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor….” The Lord took his position, social status and esteem and smashed them, unraveling Joseph’s life to prepare him for greater use.
Whatever is built in our lives with fleshly foundation or human striving – places of confidence and security – are subject to the Lord’s demolition. Even in areas where God has promoted and excelled our position, our ministry, our status – His wrecking ball will likely swing to break, wound, and undo that He may rebuild, heal and create – forging us ahead with supernatural understanding and matured faith.
Can we trust Him at the juncture of brokenness? Can we declare as the Psalmist in 119:71, “It was good for me to be afflicted…”? It is not enough to mechanically recite Romans 8:28. The Lord is seeking the trust of those who stand at the precipice of loss and despair, waiting to lead us forward by His hand and by His Word onto paths unmarked.
The steps of faith here are the heaviest. It may only be sheer will that points us to the Word and compels us to pray. Worship here is the sacrifice of praise. But this is the juncture of miracles, this is the juncture of supernatural. It is here where the Lord takes the broken pieces and magnifies Himself and His power. When Jesus broke the five loaves in Mark 6 they fed over five thousand people, yielding 12 basketfuls of broken pieces. Without the hand of God, this bread would have remained five simple loaves, baked by locals and eaten without acclaim.
Have entanglements of sin caused brokenness and despair? Or has God, in His faithfulness, brought about loss and suffering to propel our faith for greater use? There is only one recourse for deliverance, one position for victory: Defer to His sovereignty, offer up to Him the broken pieces of our life, and trust Him for His presence and favor. He is not a god that glues things together, but a God who heals and rebuilds that which was broken, with supernatural design and purpose.
What will God make from your broken pieces?