Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Out of Brokenness

What can God do with a shattered, life?  When the worst thing that you can imagine happens, and you are left with a pile of pieces, so broken you don’t know how they will ever be put back together, do you wonder how God could ever use this? 
Not long ago, the ladies I work with, and I had a time of devotion and reflection together.  Beforehand, I had broken small clay pots, one for each of us.  I had us take the time and write on the inside of the shards the things that had caused us to be broken in our lives.  Then we put the pots back together.  Some pots took a lot of work; some took more than one person to hold the pieces in place while the glue took hold, before more pieces could be added.  One pot took all of us working together to get it back together again.
After all of our pots were put back together, and the glue had dried, we placed a tea light in them and turned off the lights.  The light from those little candles shown through the cracks of the broken pieces in such a beautiful and profound way, much like the light of our savior shines through the broken pieces of our lives. 
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
What seems like yesterday, in many ways, and in other ways, a lifetime ago: in reality, only four years ago, I came home after a long night of work to find my husband of twenty years, dead from a heart attack.  Two short days later, my father died after a long illness, and so my journey of brokenness began. 
Most certainly, this season of grief and brokenness is one which I questioned how God could ever use to His Glory.  But as the years pass, I see the promises in Isaiah 61 come true in my life. 
It began with me praising God for who He is, and not how I felt.  Next, I began to beg God to restore my joy, which He did, after He reminded me that joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and is not dependent on how I felt.  After my joy was restored, God put me to work.  He placed other people in my life that had experienced loss and brokenness.  He also started to place it on my heart to share my story, and my journey.  

Out of darkness and into the light. 
Like the clay pot, my pieces are put back together in a way I never expected. Like a stained glass window, I am beginning to see the beauty that God is creating in those broken and cracked pieces.