Typically, things are considered ugly when they are broken, mainly because they no longer fulfill their purpose. Who wants a car with no brakes, a chair on three legs, or a fan with no blades? There’s no fun in a roller coaster that won’t roll, a leaky pool with no water, or a bike with bent wheels.
This is what we mean when we say we are “broken.” We have been knocked down one too many times. We have suffered – of our own fault or at another’s hands – and we simply don’t “work” any more. We know we should seek God and have joy and praise, but all the emotions we feel are negative. Besides, we have nothing more to offer. This makes sense to us, because when something is broken, we don’t expect it to magically start working again.
Fortunately, for those of us who know the Lord, He is with us and is for us (Romans 8:31). But what does that mean if we are broken?
We might want God to turn back the clock and make us exactly like we were before…before the mistakes, the injuries, the tragedies, the pain. Or we might expect God to make us new again, like He did when we were first saved. But God’s will and grace far exceed our own, and His plan is greater than we could ever hope or imagine. For if He did this, if He changed us back or made us new again, what would have been the purpose of it all? What would we have gained through our difficult experience?
I saw a beautiful illustration the other day on Pinterest. It was a pretty candle holder made from a simple Mason jar. What made it unique was that a “cracked” design had been added to it by covering it with scraps of material before spray painting it. After the material was removed, and the candle lit, a unique pattern emerged as the light shined through the “cracks.” The rustic look gave the glass jar character, a style often referred to as shabby chic.
Instead of leaving us broken, God does something only He can do: He heals our hearts and binds our broken pieces back together in such a way that we are made better than we were before. Instead of fusing the broken pieces completely, He leaves a little crack. Like the candle holder, these cracks allow God’s light to shine through us in a new way. We still carry the same light of God as before, but the way we display it is more beautiful than ever.
This unique design that God makes out of our brokenness is, in fact, our testimony. When we are no longer ashamed of it, when we gladly tell others about what God has done for us, we allow Him to work through us in a new way. In this way, our brokenness is healed, becomes our testimony, and then glorifies God – like only we can do.
We are no longer broken – we are healed! We are etched with a testimony of His love and mercy. People will notice this difference in us and ask us what happened – how did we get that unique design on our lives? It is our job, then, to tell them that we were broken, but God made us better, made us whole. We are now…beautiful.
Ezekiel 34:16 “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick…” (The Lord speaking through Ezekiel)
Ashley Jones is a business professional by day and freelance writer by night. She uses her Masters in Biblical Studies to show others how God and His Word can be applicable in their lives. Ashley also draws upon her own personal experiences with brokenness – from tattered relationships to prolonged illnesses – and shares them as her testimony of God’s healing and redemption in her life. In her spare time, Ashley works with her husband Robby on updating their home, which was built in 1939. She is also a volunteer at her alma mater, the Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center. Ashley and Robby have one fur baby, a cat named Sue.
Ashley is working on various books at this time as well as her new blog. www.bigsisterknows.com.